Golf pitch mark repair tool

Abstract

A pitch mark repair tool that includes a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge. Preferably the location for the thumb is an indentation or ridged area, the center of which is at least half way across the base from the push ledge. The tool also includes a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. The tool can be made from plastic, wood, metal, or any other suitable material. The base can be shaped to have a flat profile when viewed side-on or to have a profile of a corporate logo (e.g., the Nike® “swoosh”) when viewed side-on. Other shapes are possible. Also, methods of using the pitch mark repair tool.

Claims

1 . A pitch mark repair tool comprising: a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge; and a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. 2 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the location for the thumb comprises an indentation or ridged area. 3 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 2 , wherein a center of the indentation or ridged area is at least half way across the base from the push ledge. 4 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the single prong has a diameter of a standard tee. 5 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the base further includes a through hole at an end opposite the push ledge and the single prong. 6 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the tool is made from plastic, wood, or metal. 7 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the base is shaped to have a flat profile when viewed side-on. 8 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 1 , wherein the base and the push ledge are shaped to have a profile of a corporate logo when viewed side-on. 9 . A pitch mark repair tool comprising: a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge; and an opening in the base or push ledge for insertion of a tee so as to form a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. 10 . A pitch mark repair too as in claim 9 , wherein the location for the thumb is an indentation or ridged area. 11 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 10 , wherein a center of the indentation or ridged area is at least half way across the base from the push ledge. 12 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 9 , wherein the opening has a diameter of a standard tee. 13 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 9 , wherein the base fisher includes a through hole at an end opposite the push ledge and the single prong. 14 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 9 , wherein the tool is made from plastic, wood, or metal. 15 . A pitch ark repair tool as in claim 9 , when the base is shaped to have a flat profile when viewed side-on. 16 . A pitch mark repair tool as in claim 9 , wherein the base and the push ledge are shaped to have a profile of a corporate logo when viewed side-on. 17 . A method of repairing a pitch mark using a pitch mark repair tool that includes a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge, and a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge, the method comprising the steps of: inserting the single prong of the pitch mark repair tool just outside of the pitch mark; and pushing the pitch mark repair tool toward a center of the pitch mark so that the push ledge pushes grass and soil over the pitch mark. 18 . A method as in claim 17 , wherein the location for the thumb is an indentation or ridged area. 19 . A method as in claim 18 , where a center of the indentation or ridged area is at least halfway across the base from the push ledge.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION [0001] This application claims priority from U.S. Design Pat. No. 29/232,720, titled “Golf Pitch Mark Repair Tool,” executed Jun. 23, 2005, in the name of the same inventor, Express Mail No. ER674653814US. This design application is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] 1. Field of the Invention [0003] This invention relates to a golf pitch mark repair tool. [0004] 2. Description of the Related Art [0005] When a golf ball lands hard on a putting green, the golf ball can make a ball mark on the green. In the jargon of golf, this mark is called a “pitch mark.” [0006] Putting greens are supposed to provide a uniform putting surface. Unrepaired pitch marks mar this surface. For this reason, part of golf etiquette is to repair pitch marks left by one's golf balls on greens. [0007] Unfortunately, many people repair pitch marks improperly. They use a pitch mark repair tool that has two prongs much like a fork. They insert the prongs of this tool beside and under the pitch mark, and then pry and/or twist up the center of the pitch mark with the repair tool. [0008] Inserting the prongs of the repair tool can cut the roots of the grass at the pitch mark. Prying up the center of the pitch mark further damages the grass and also exposes the soil under the mark. As a result, the grass is likely to die, resulting in a marred putting surface. [0009] The dead grass at improperly repaired pitch marks can take around three weeks to heal, during which time a significant number of pitch marks can accumulate. This presents a serious challenge for greens keepers and golf course owners. [0010] A proper method exists for repairing pitch marks that does not kill the grass. This method involves inserting a repair tool just outside of the pitch mark and then pulling turf over the center of the pitch mark. However, even with this method, the prongs of a repair tool can still cut the roots of the grass, which can kill the grass. [0011] Professional golfers sometimes use a tee instead of a two-pronged repair tools. When the proper method is performed using a tee, the grass tends not to be killed. The tee tends not to cut the roots of the grass, but rather aerates the soil, which can even promote healing. However, few regular golfers use a tee in this manner to repair pitch marks. [0012] Applicant is aware of one pitch mark repair tool that has been designed in an attempt to promote proper repair of pitch marks. This tool is the “GreenFix® Wizard.” Information about the tool can be found at greenfixgolf.com. However, the tool has several drawbacks. First, the GreenFix® Wizard has a two-pronged end for insertion near a pitch mark. This two-pronged end will still cut grass roots. Second, the tool is designed so that a person's thumb and index finger rest near the two-pronged end, with the thumb on top and the index finger on the bottom of the tool. This arrangement places a person's index finger at a nearly perfect location to be used as a fulcrum for prying up the center of a pitch mark. Therefore, even though the tool is marked with an instruction to “Just Push!” the design of the tool might actually encourage improper prying. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0013] Accordingly, what is needed is a repair tool that promotes proper repair of pitch marks and that does not cut the roots of the grass when the proper method is used. [0014] One embodiment of the invention that addresses this need is a pitch mark repair tool that includes a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge. Preferably the location for the thumb is an indentation or ridged area, the center of which is at least half way across the base from the push ledge. The tool also includes a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. The single prong preferably has a diameter of a standard golf tee. [0015] The single prong decreases root damage when used properly. In addition, the position of the thumb location (e.g., indentation or ridged area) promotes such proper use. Thus, this repair tool is superior to existing pitch mark repair tools, including the GreenFix® Wizard tool. [0016] Another embodiment of the invention is a pitch mark repair tool that also includes a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge. This embodiment further includes an opening in the base or push ledge for insertion of a golf tee so as to form a single prong extending from the base or push ledge. [0017] In some embodiments, the base further includes a through hole at an end opposite the push ledge and the single prong, for example for attachment to a key ring. The tool can be made of any suitably strong and durable material including but not limited to plastic, wood, or metal. [0018] In some embodiments, the base is shaped to have a flat profile when viewed side-on. In other embodiments, the base and the push ledge are shaped to have a profile of a corporate logo such as the Nike® “swoosh” when viewed side-on. Other shapes are possible. [0019] The invention also encompasses methods of using the foregoing embodiments. [0020] This brief summary has been provided so that the nature of the invention may be understood quickly. A more complete understanding of the invention may be obtained by reference to the following description of the preferred embodiments thereof in connection with the attached drawings. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0021] FIGS. 1 to 5 show various views of embodiments of a pitch mark repair tool according to the invention. [0022] FIG. 6 shows a side view of a pitch mark repair tool modified to incorporate a corporate logo into the shape of the repair tool. [0023] FIG. 7 shows a side view of a pitch mark repair tool modified to use an actual golf tee. [0024] FIGS. 8 and 9 show another embodiment of a pitch mark repair tool according to the invention that has a simplified shape. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT [0025] FIGS. 1 to 5 show various views of embodiments of a pitch mark repair tool according to the invention. FIG. 1 is a side view, FIG. 2 is a front end view, FIG. 3 is a top view, and FIG. 4 is a back end view of one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 5 is a bottom view showing a variation of this embodiment. [0026] Briefly, one embodiment of the invention is a pitch mark repair tool that includes a base with a push ledge at one end and a location for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge. Preferably the location for the thumb is an indentation or ridged area, the center of which is at least halfway across the base from the push ledge. The tool also includes a single prong extending from the push ledge or from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. The single prong preferably has a diameter of a standard golf tee. [0027] Thus, FIGS. 1 to 4 show pitch mark repair tool 1 that includes base 2 with push ledge 3 . In these figures, push ledge 3 extends both above and below base 2 ; however, this need not be the case. The base also includes location 4 for a thumb positioned at least one third way across base 2 from push ledge 3 . Location 4 can be an indentation, a ridged area, or simply a flat expanse sufficiently large for a thumb. FIG. 3 illustrates use of an indentation as location 4 for placement of the thumb. Preferably, the location's center is at least half way across base 2 from push ledge 3 . [0028] Pitch mark repair tool 1 also includes single prong 5 extending from push ledge 1 . Although the prong preferably extends directly from the push ledge as shown, the prong can extend from a portion of the base adjacent the push ledge. In a preferred embodiment, prong 5 is round and has a diameter of a standard golf tee. Alternatively, the prong can be thinner, thicker, flat, or have any other suitable shape. [0029] FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of pitch mark repair tool 7 similar to the one shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 . One difference is that pitch mark repair tool 7 includes through-hole 8 at an end of base 9 opposite push ledge 10 and single prong 11 . [0030] The single prong of the pitch mark repair tools shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 decreases root damage when used properly. In addition, the position of the thumb location (e.g., indentation or ridged area) promotes proper use. Thus, this repair tool is superior to existing pitch mark repair tools, including the GreenFix® Wizard tool. [0031] The pitch mark repair tool can be made of any suitably strong and durable material including but not limited to plastic, wood, or metal. [0032] In FIGS. 1 to 5 , the base of the pitch mark repair tools has a flat profile when viewed side-on. However, this need not be the case. For example, the base and the push ledge can be shaped to have a profile of a corporate logo when viewed side-on. FIG. 6 shows an example of such an embodiment in which the base and the push ledge are shaped to have a profile of the Nikes “swoosh” 12 when viewed side-on. Other shapes are possible. [0033] FIG. 7 shows a side view of a pitch mark repair tool modified to use an actual golf tee. In FIG. 7 , pitch mark repair tool 15 includes base 16 with push ledge 17 at one end and location 18 for a thumb positioned at least one third way across the base from the push ledge. This figure illustrates use of a ridged area as the location for the thumb. [0034] The embodiment shown in FIG. 7 further includes an opening 19 in based 16 or push ledge 17 for insertion of golf tee 20 so as to form a single prong extending from the base or push ledge. This opening preferably has a diameter of a standard golf tee. [0035] FIGS. 8 and 9 show another embodiment of a pitch mark repair tool according to the invention that has a simplified shape. In these figures, pitch mark repair tool 22 includes a flat base 23 , flat single prong 24 , and flat push ledge 25 . In this embodiment, location 26 is shown as an indentation. [0036] The embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 is particularly suited to be made from a flat blank of metal or plastic, although it is not limited to these materials. The blank could be cut to form the prong. The resulting “flaps” on the side of the prong could be bent up, trimmed, and joined to form the push ledge. In addition, the indentation for a thumb could be easily stamped into the metal or plastic. Alternatively, the indentation could be omitted, in which case the location for a thumb would simply be a flat expanse sufficiently large for the thumb. [0037] The pitch mark repair tool according to the invention promotes proper repair of pitch marks. In order to use the tool, the single prong of the pitch mark repair tool is inserted just outside of the golf pitch mark. The pitch mark repair tool is then pushed toward a center of the golf pitch mark so that the push ledge of the tool pushes grass and soil over the golf pitch mark. ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS [0038] The invention is in no way limited to the specifics of any particular embodiments and examples disclosed herein. For example, the terms “preferably,” “preferred embodiment,” “one embodiment,” “this embodiment,” “alternatively” and the like denote features that are preferable but not essential to include in embodiments of the invention. Furthermore, features described with respect to any one embodiment are equally applicable to other embodiments. For example, indentation 4 or ridged area 18 can be used with any of the embodiments, as can through-hole 8 . Many other variations are possible which remain within the content, scope and spirit of the invention, and these variations would become clear to those skilled in the art after perusal of this application.

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    US-2008268985-A1October 30, 2008Wiens Terry G, Edwards Richard DGolf green repair device method and apparatus
    US-2011230281-A1September 22, 2011Carsey Kevin RGolf turf repair device
    US-2012135817-A1May 31, 2012Gary Lee PaustenbachGolf accessory
    US-7731609-B2June 08, 2010Greenfix Golf, Inc.Golf green repair device method and apparatus
    US-8382615-B2February 26, 2013Kevin R. CarseyGolf turf repair device