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Title:
GOLF ACCESSORY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/170471
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention discloses a golf accessory (10) in the general configuration of a golf tee-off pad comprising a generally horizontal platform (12) adapted to be positioned on a golf tee or the grass thereof, the platform (12) containing a plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions (16) rectilinearly arranged relative to one another along one common longitudinal axis (y - y), the golf accessory (10) being characterized in that the plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions (16) are equidistantly spaced apart along the longitudinal axis (y - y), which axis (y - y) runs parallel relative to a lengthwise axis (z - z) of the platform. The invention extends to a method of teaching golf swing skills utilizing the claimed accessory (10).

Inventors:
LOUWRENS JAQUES (ZA)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2016/052213
Publication Date:
October 27, 2016
Filing Date:
April 19, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LOUWRENS JAQUES (ZA)
International Classes:
A63B57/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2005023381A12005-03-17
Foreign References:
US3112111A1963-11-26
US5492323A1996-02-20
US1542514A1925-06-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARDS ATTORNEYS et al. (Maraisburg Roodepoor, Johannesburg 1716 Johannesburg, ZA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A golf accessory in the general configuration of a golf tee-off pad comprising a generally horizontal platform adapted to be positioned on a golf tee, the platform containing a plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions rectilinearly arranged relative to one another along one common longitudinal axis, the golf accessory being characterized in that the plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions are equidistantly spaced apart along the longitudinal axis, which axis runs parallel relative to a lengthwise axis of the platform.

2. The golf accessory of claim 1 , wherein each tee-off position includes a golf ball support for supporting a golf ball above the surface of a tee. 3. The golf accessory of claim 2, wherein each golf ball support is removably secured to the platform.

4. The golf accessory of claim 2 or 3, wherein the golf ball supports are selected from the group consisting of wooden pegs with a flared, concave top, plastics pegs with a flared, concave top, rubber pegs with a flared, concave top or plastic pegs with a brush-like top.

5. The golf accessory of claim 3 or 4, wherein the golf ball supports are removably mounted in a hollow rubber or plastics plug having upper and lower ends, each lower end being adapted to be friction fitted to an aperture formed at the tee-off position in the platform whereas each upper end is adapted to receive and hold a pointed end of a golf ball support. 6. The golf accessory of claim 5, wherein the aperture is countersunk so as to facilitate friction fitment of the lower end into the platform.

7. The golf accessory of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the platform comprises a planar upper surface adjacent a rearward spaced chamfered upper surface, both surfaces extending along the lengthwise axis of the platform from one end of the platform to another end thereof, with the tee-off positions being formed on rectilinearly spaced apart positions on the planar upper surface.

8. The golf accessory of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the platform comprises securing means configured to secure the platform to the grass of a golf tee.

9. The golf accessory of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the platform has a width between about 8mm and 20mm. 1 0. The golf accessory of claim 8, wherein the securing means comprises a plurality of threaded rods configured to be threadingly secured into blind bores defined in a bottom surface of the platform.

1 1 . The golf accessory of claim 1 0, wherein the blind bores are threaded so as to receive a socket adapted to be permanently located within the blind bore, which socket comprises a threaded outer surface and a threaded inner surface so as to threadingly receive a threaded rod having an upper end and a pointed end, the upper end being adapted to be secured to the threaded inner surface of the socket while the pointed end is configured to secure the platform to grass of the golf tee thereby improving the chances of a golf ball to remain on the golf ball support when the platform is accidentally struck with a golf club.

1 2. A method of teaching golf swing skills comprising the steps of: providing a golf accessory in the general configuration of a golf tee-off pad comprising a generally horizontal platform adapted to be positioned on a golf tee, the platform containing a plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions rectilinearly arranged relative to one another along one common longitudinal axis, the golf accessory being characterized in that the plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions are equidistantly spaced apart along the longitudinal axis, which axis runs parallel relative to a lengthwise axis of the platform; placing and securing the platform onto a surface of a golf practice tee; placing a golf ball at each of the respective equidistantly spaced apart golf tee-off positions; allowing a golf trainnee to attain a stance relative to a golf ball placed at a first tee-off possition closest to him or her; allowing the golf trainnee to swing and hit said golf ball; and whilst retaining the same golf swing stance, allowing the trainnee to step forward, swing and hit one or more golf balls positioned on subsequent equidistantly spaced apart tee-off positions adjacent to the first tee-off possition.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein each tee-off position includes a golf ball support for supporting a golf ball above the surface of a tee.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein each golf ball support is removably secured to the platform.

15. The method of claim 13 or 14, wherein the golf ball supports are selected from the group consisting of wooden pegs with a flared, concave top, plastics pegs with a flared, concave top, rubber pegs with a flared, concave top or plastic pegs with a brush-like top.

1 6. The method of claim 14 or 1 5, wherein the golf ball supports are removably mounted in a hollow rubber or plastics plug having upper and lower ends, each lower end being adapted to be friction fitted to an aperture formed at the tee-off position in the platform whereas each upper end is adapted to receive and hold a pointed end of a golf ball support.

1 7. The method of claim 1 6, wherein the aperture is countersunk so as to facilitate friction fitment of the lower end into the platform.

1 8. The method of any one of claims 1 2 to 1 7, wherein the platform comprises a planar upper surface adjacent a rearward spaced chamfered upper surface, both surfaces extending along the lengthwise axis of the platform from one end of the platform to another end thereof, with the tee-off positions being formed on rectilinearly spaced apart positions on the planar upper surface.

1 9. The method of any one claims 12 to 1 8, wherein the platform comprises securing means configured to secure the platform to the grass of a golf tee.

20. The method of any one of claims 12 to 19, wherein the platform has a width between about 8mm and 20mm.

21 . The method of claim 1 9, wherein the securing means comprises a plurality of threaded rods configured to be threadingly secured into blind bores defined in a bottom surface of the platform. 22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the blind bores are threaded so as to receive a socket adapted to be permanently located within the blind bore, which socket comprises a threaded outer surface and a threaded inner surface so as to threadingly receive a threaded rod having an upper end and a pointed end, the upper end being adapted to be secured to the threaded inner surface of the socket while the pointed end is configured to secure the platform to grass of the golf tee thereby improving the chances of a golf ball to remain on the golf ball support when the platform is accidentally struck with a golf club.

Description:
GOLF ACCESSORY

THIS INVENTION relates generally to sports equipment and accessories, and more specifically to a golf accessory in the general configuration of a golf tee-off pad.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

The game of golf has become extremely popular throughout the world and its popularity continues to increase. As a result, courses are becoming increasingly crowded, and each golf player has a desire to improve his or her own game, especially the swing, which plays an integral part in efforts to improve the game.

A variety of golfing tools, gadgets and golfing accessories abounds. Those adapted to encourage golfers to develop a rhythm and proper alignment in their golf swing have evolved as one of the most important golfing practice aids.

One such tool, gadget or accessory for improving swing rhythm and proper alignment includes a device which is contained within the upper portion of a golf shaft, the device indicating an over-swing by a golfer, apparently using an inertial activated electrical circuit mechanism. Another device senses the motion of the golf club being swung by the golfer and/or senses the impact of the golf club striking the golf ball. A further device exists which is connected to the golf club such that the golfer is guided and actually forced to follow a suggested golf swing path while he swings his golf club in a curved path along a frame. Although these devices do aid a golfer in his swing training, they in particular still are complicated and usually too expensive for the non-professional golfer.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a simple golf accessory and golf training method that will overcome the glaring drawbacks apparent and inherent to prior art, but still able to greatly assist the golfer in training his swing.

Another object is to provide a golf accessory that is portable, elegant, fashionable, simple in construction and highly effective in ensuring that the golfer's stance is not tampered with, which often is the case when a golfer has to constantly remount golf ball after golf ball onto his peg, swing after swing at a tee-off spot.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In broad terms, this invention provides a golf accessory in the general configuration of a golf tee-off pad comprising a generally horizontal platform containing a plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions rectilinearly arranged relative to one another along one common longitudinal axis, each tee-off position including a golf ball support for supporting a golf ball at a short distance above the surface of a tee, each support being removably secured in the platform.

In an embodiment the plurality of golf ball supports are equidistantly spaced apart along the longitudinal axis, which axis is off-centered but parallel relative to the lengthwise axis of the platform. In an embodiment the golf ball supports are selected from the group consisting of wooden pegs with a flared, concave top, plastics pegs with a flared, concave top, rubber pegs with a flared, concave top or plastic pegs with a brush-like top.

In an embodiment, the pegs are removably mounted in a hollow rubber or plastics plug having upper and lower ends, the lower end being adapted to be friction fitted to an aperture formed at the tee-off position in the platform.

In an embodiment of the invention, the aperture is countersunk so as to facilitate friction fitment of the lower end into the platform.

The invention also provides for the platform to comprise a planar upper surface adjacent a chamfered upper surface, the tee-off positions being formed on the planar upper surface positions.

The invention further provides for the platform to comprise securing means configured to secure the platform to the grass of a golf tee. Preferably, the platform has a width between about 8mm and 20mm so that the planar upper surface is substantially level with upper ends of the grass when secured by means of the securing means onto the golf tee.

In an embodiment, the securing means comprises a plurality of threaded rods configured to be threadingly secured into blind bores defined in a bottom surface of the platform. Each blind bore may be threaded such that the threaded rods can be secured directly thereto. Alternatively, the blind bores may be threaded so as to receive a permanent socket having a threaded outer surface, the socket being further defined to include a threaded inner surface for threadingly receiving a threaded rod. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is now described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying non-limiting diagrammatic drawings, in which

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a golf accessory according to one embodiment of the invention ;

Figure 2 shows a side view of the golf accessory of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows an end view of the golf accessory of Figure 1 ; and

Figure 4 shows a bottom perspective view of the golf accessory of

Figure 1 .

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings, referral to the male gender generally include reference to the female gender, unless otherwise indicated.

In Figures 1 to 4, reference numeral 1 0 refers to a golf accessory in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The golf accessory (1 0) is configured for use in golf training, in particular, golf swing training. The accessory (1 0) is in the form of a golf tee-off pad and is believed to be particularly useful on golf driving ranges, but may also be used wherever a golf fanatic finds space to practice his swing.

Referring to Figures 1 to 4, the golf accessory (1 0) consists of a platform (1 2) having a generally planar upper surface (14) on which a plurality of spaced apart golf tee-off positions (1 6) are located. As shown, the golf tee- off positions (1 6) are rectilinearly arranged relative to one another along one common longitudinal axis (Υ ). Each tee-off position (16) includes a golf ball support (1 8) for supporting a golf ball (not shown) at a short distance above the planar upper surface (14). Each support (1 8) is further removably secured in the platform (12).

The plurality of golf ball supports (1 8) are equidistantly spaced apart along the longitudinal axis (Y-Y). The axis (Y-Y) is off-centered, but parallel relative to the lengthwise axis of the platform (Z-Z).

Although Figures 1 to 4 depict golf ball supports (18) in the form of pegs with plastic shafts and rubber tops, it is envisaged that in other example embodiments of the current invention the golf ball supports (1 8) may be selected from the group consisting of wooden pegs with a flared, concave top; plastics pegs with a flared, concave top; rubber pegs with a flared, concave top or plastic pegs with a brush-like top.

As shown in Figure 1 , the pegs (1 8) are friction fitted point first into hollow cylindrically shaped rubber or plastics plugs or tubing (20) having upper ends (22) and lower ends (24). The lower end (24) of each plug (20) is friction fitted to an aperture (26) formed at the tee-off position (1 6) in the platform (1 2). It has been found that yieldability of rubber or plastics plugs or tubing (20) assist in absorbing shock when a golf club accidentally strikes the upper surface (14) while swinging. The rubber or plastics plugs or tubing (20) thereby ensure that golf balls do not fall from the pegs (1 8) in cases where a golf club accidentally connects the upper surface (14). The formation of the platform (12) from a yieldable material such as high density polyethylene also assists to prevent premature golf ball displacement from the pegs (1 8) after being initially placed atop thereof. Alternatively, the platform (12) may be manufactured from a rubber compound. This platform, in other embodiments which are not shown herein, may also have throughbores or holes therein so that grass can extend therethrough thereby making the accessory (1 0) more environmentally friendly.

Although not shown in the drawings, each aperture (26) is tapered inwardly or countersunk so as to facilitate friction fitment of the lower end (24) into the platform (1 2). This configuration also allows the peg to have more freedom of movement when absorbing impact from a golf club head striking a nearby portion of the platform (1 2). As shown in the Figures, the platform (12) has a generally rectangular outline and a planar upper surface (14). Preferably, the platform (12) has a width between about 8mm and 20mm so that the planar upper surface (14) is substantially level with upper ends of the grass when secured by means of suitable securing means (30) onto the golf tee.

Although not shown in the drawings, it will be appreciated that in another example embodiment of the invention, the planar upper surface (14) may be bordered by or have an adjacent or rearward spaced chamfered or downward sloping upper surface. A connecting portion between the planar upper surface (14) and the chamfered upper surface can be rounded so as to accommodate the arcuate natural movement of the golf club head when swung by a golfer. The rounded portion may alleviate problems associated with golfers hitting the upper surface (1 4) on the downswing. Obviously, tee-off positions are formed on the planar upper surface (14) in line with axis Y-Y.

As shown in Figure 4, the platform (1 2) further consists of securing means (30) configured to secure the platform (1 2) to the grass of a golf tee.

The securing means includes a plurality of threaded rods (32) configured to be threadingly secured into blind bores (34) defined in a bottom surface of the platform (1 2). Each blind bore (34) is internally threaded such that the threaded rods (32) can be secured directly thereto. However, to achieve a more secure and permanent fitment, the blind bores (34) may be threaded so as to receive a permanent socket having a threaded outer surface, the socket being further defined to include a threaded inner surface for threadingly receiving the threaded rod (32).

It is further envisaged that the golf accessory (1 0) may include in other embodiments of the invention, one or more layers on top of the platform (1 2). The layers may also be integrally formed with the platform (1 2). For example, a synthetic grass layer may be secured to the upper surface (14).

The golf accessory (10), as shown in Figures 1 to 4, clearly permits a golfer to place and secure the platform (12) onto the grass of a golf practice tee by means of the securing means (30). Thereafter, with the four pegs in position along line Y-Y, 4 balls is position on tops of the respective pegs (1 8). After attaining his stance relative to the ball closest to him, he can swing and hit the ball from the accessory (10). With the accessory designed to handle shock as a result of a ball mishit and contact with the platform (12), the golfer can simply proceed, move a bit forward and swing again without the need to bend and remount a ball onto the next peg (1 8). The distance between pegs (1 8) are thus suited to allow a golf club to freely move in the swing arc without touching the ball mounted on an adjacent peg (1 8). Preferably, the distance between pegs (1 8) are between 1 00mm and 250mm. To achieve the best stance without having any interference with an adjacent peg (1 8) or ball mounted thereon, the distance between pegs should be 1 80mm apart. Obviously, the invention envisages a platform varying in dimensions, but most preferably, the platform will be generally rectangular with a length of between 750mm and 3m and a width of between 300mm and 400mm. The golf accessory (10), as shown in Figures 1 to 4, is but one embodiment of the present invention, is not intended to be exclusive, and is not a limitation of the present invention. While the golf accessory (10) as shown and disclosed in detail in this specification is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages stated, this disclosure is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and no limitations are intended in connection with the details of construction, design or composition other than as provided and described in the appended claims.

The monopoly for which protection is claimed is now defined in the accompanying set of claims.