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United States Patent Application 20180161641
Kind Code A1
Darr; Adnan June 14, 2018

GOLF BALL HOLDER AND METHOD THEREOF

Abstract

An apparatus has a golf ball holder including a receiver assembly having a resilient wall. The resilient wall is configured to: (A) form a stressed shape in response to the application of a stressing force to the resilient wall of the receiver assembly, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is releasable from the receiver assembly; and (B) form an unstressed shape in response to the removal of the stressing force from the resilient wall of the receiver assembly, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball.


Inventors: Darr; Adnan; (Mississauga, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Darr; Adnan

Mississauga

CA
Family ID: 1000003166333
Appl. No.: 15/710596
Filed: September 20, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14544093Nov 24, 2014
15710596

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 55/408 20151001; A63B 57/20 20151001; A63B 2209/10 20130101; A63B 2047/046 20130101; A63B 47/00 20130101; A63B 47/001 20130101; A63B 47/04 20130101; A63B 71/0036 20130101; A63B 57/00 20130101; A63B 2047/043 20130101
International Class: A63B 47/00 20060101 A63B047/00; A63B 57/00 20150101 A63B057/00; A63B 57/20 20150101 A63B057/20; A63B 47/04 20060101 A63B047/04; A63B 71/00 20060101 A63B071/00

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Jun 6, 2014CA2854044

Claims



1-22. (canceled)

23. A golf ball holder, wherein the golf ball holder comprises: a receiver assembly, wherein the receiver assembly has a first end and second end, wherein the first end is opposite the second end, wherein the receiver assembly includes a plurality of fingers located at the first end, and wherein the plurality of fingers is configured to secure the golf ball within the receiver assembly; a clip, wherein the clip is affixed to the second end, and wherein the clip is configured to removably secure the receiver assembly to a user's belt; and a cleaning medium, wherein the cleaning medium is affixed to an inner surface of the receiver assembly.

24. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein each of the plurality of fingers touches one or more adjacent ones of the plurality of fingers when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly.

25. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein the plurality of fingers extends beyond a single hemisphere of the golf ball when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly.

26. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein each of the plurality of fingers does not extend away from the golf ball.

27. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein the receiver is assembly is configured to allow the golf ball to rotate within the receiver assembly when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly.

28. The golf ball holder of claim 27, wherein the golf ball interacts with the cleaning medium when rotated in such a manner as to clean the golf ball.

29. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein the cleaning medium is affixed to the inner surface of the receiver assembly via an adhesive.

30. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein the cleaning medium comprises one or more of a cloth material, fiber material, sponge material, pad, lining material, and foam material.

31. The golf ball holder of claim 23, wherein the cleaning medium is removably affixed to the inner surface of the receiver assembly.

32. The golf ball holder of claim 31, wherein the cleaning medium is configured to be removed and replaced with a second cleaning medium.

33. The golf ball holder of claim 23, further comprising: a motor, wherein the motor is configured to rotate the golf ball within the receiver assembly.

34. A golf ball holder, wherein the golf ball holder comprises: a receiver assembly, wherein the receiver assembly includes a plurality of fingers, wherein the plurality of fingers is configured to secure the golf ball within the receiver assembly, and wherein each of the plurality of fingers contacts at least one adjacent finger when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly; and a cleaning medium, wherein the cleaning medium is affixed to an inner surface of the receiver assembly.

35. The golf ball holder of claim 34, wherein each of the plurality of fingers is configured to move apart from the at least one adjacent finger during removal of the golf ball.

36. The golf ball holder of claim 34, wherein each of the plurality of fingers does not extend away from the golf ball.

37. The golf ball holder of claim 34, wherein the receiver is assembly is configured to allow the golf ball to rotate within the receiver assembly when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly.

38. The golf ball holder of claim 37, wherein the golf ball interacts with the cleaning medium when rotated in such a manner as to clean the golf ball.

39. A golf ball holder, wherein the golf ball holder comprises: a receiver assembly, wherein the receiver assembly includes a plurality of fingers, and wherein the plurality of fingers is configured to secure the golf ball within the receiver assembly; a cleaning medium, wherein the cleaning medium is affixed to an inner surface of the receiver assembly; and a motor, wherein the motor is configured to rotate the golf ball within the receiver assembly.

40. The golf ball holder of claim 39, further comprising: a switch, wherein activation of the switch causes the golf ball to be rotated within the receiver assembly.

41. The golf ball holder of claim 39, further comprising: a power supply, wherein the power supply is electrically connected to the motor.

42. The golf ball holder of claim 39, wherein each of the plurality of fingers touches one or more adjacent ones of the plurality of fingers when the golf ball is secured within the receiver assembly.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/544,093, filed Nov. 24, 2014, which claims the benefit of the filing date of Canadian Patent Application No. 2854044, filed Jun. 6, 2014, both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] Some aspects generally relate to (and are not limited to) a golf ball holder and method thereof.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Golf equipment encompasses various items used to play the sport of golf, such as a golf ball holder.

SUMMARY

[0004] At least one problem associated with known golf ball holders was researched. After much study, an understanding of the problem and its solution has been identified, which is stated below.

[0005] It is believed that known golf ball holders do not provide a mechanism for conveniently holding a golf ball (for example, at a convenient place or position for convenient ready access by the golfer). In addition, known golf ball holders do not provide a mechanism for relatively convenient and easy cleaning of the golf ball by the golfer.

[0006] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part) in accordance with an aspect, there is provided an apparatus having a golf ball holder including a receiver assembly having a resilient wall; the resilient wall is configured to: (A) form a stressed shape in response to the application of a stressing force to the resilient wall of the receiver assembly, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is releasable from the receiver assembly; and (B) form an unstressed shape in response to the removal of the stressing force from the resilient wall of the receiver assembly, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball.

[0007] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part), in accordance with an aspect, there is provided an apparatus having a golf ball holder including a receiver assembly configured to: (A) form a stressed shape in response to the application of a stressing force to the receiver assembly, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is releasable from the receiver assembly; and (B) form an unstressed shape in response to the removal of the stressing force from the receiver assembly, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball.

[0008] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part), in accordance with an aspect, there is provided a method of operating a golf ball holder, including: (A) applying a stressing force to a resilient wall of a receiver assembly of the golf ball holder in such a way that the resilient wall of the receiver assembly forms a stressed shape, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is releasable from the receiver assembly; and (B) removing the stressing force from the resilient wall of the receiver assembly in such a way that the resilient wall of the receiver assembly forms an unstressed shape, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball.

[0009] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part), in accordance with an aspect, there is provided a method of operating a golf ball holder, including: (A) applying a stressing force to a receiver assembly of the golf ball holder in such a way that the receiver assembly forms a stressed shape, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is releasable from the receiver assembly; and (B) removing the stressing force from the receiver assembly in such a way that the receiver assembly forms an unstressed shape, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball.

[0010] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part), in accordance with an aspect, there is provided a method of operating a golf ball holder. The method includes applying a stressing force to a resilient wall of a receiver assembly of the golf ball holder in such a way that the receiver assembly forms a stressed shape, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball is any one of: (A) receivable in the receiver assembly, (B) releasable from the receiver assembly, and (C) receivable in the receiver assembly, and releasable from the receiver assembly. The method further includes removing the stressing force from the resilient wall of the receiver assembly in such a way that the receiver assembly forms an unstressed shape, and in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly holds the golf ball once received to do just so. In accordance with an option, the method further includes providing a cleaning medium for the golf ball holder if so desired.

[0011] In order to mitigate at least one of the problems identified above (at least in part), in accordance with an aspect, there is provided other aspects as identified in the claims.

[0012] Other aspects and features of the non-limiting embodiments may now become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description of the non-limiting embodiments with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The non-limiting embodiments may be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of the non-limiting embodiments when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0014] FIG. 1A (SHEET 1/8) depicts a perspective view of a first example of a golf ball holder;

[0015] FIG. 1B (SHEET 1/8) depicts another perspective view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 1C (SHEET 1/8) depicts a front-perspective view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 1D (SHEET 1/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 2A (SHEET 2/8) depicts a side view of a second example of the golf ball holder, which is a variation of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1A;

[0019] FIG. 2B (SHEET 2/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2A;

[0020] FIG. 2C (SHEET 3/8) depicts a cross-sectional view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2B;

[0021] FIG. 2D (SHEET 3/8) depicts a cross-sectional view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2A;

[0022] FIG. 2E (SHEET 3/8) depicts a cross-sectional view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2A;

[0023] FIG. 2F (SHEET 4/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2B;

[0024] FIG. 2G (SHEET 4/8) depicts a side view of an actuation option for the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 2B;

[0025] FIG. 3A (SHEET 5/8) depicts a side view of a third example of the golf ball holder, which is a variation of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1A;

[0026] FIG. 3B (SHEET 5/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 3A;

[0027] FIG. 3C (SHEET 6/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 3B;

[0028] FIG. 3D (SHEET 6/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 3B;

[0029] FIG. 4A (SHEET 7/8) depicts a side view of a fourth example of the golf ball holder, which is a variation of the golf ball holder of FIG. 1A;

[0030] FIG. 4B (SHEET 7/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 4A;

[0031] FIG. 4C (SHEET 8/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 4A; and

[0032] FIG. 4D (SHEET 8/8) depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 4A.

[0033] The drawings are not necessarily to scale and may be illustrated by phantom lines, diagrammatic representations and fragmentary views. In certain instances, details not necessary for an understanding of the embodiments (and/or details that render other details difficult to perceive) may have been omitted.

[0034] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding components throughout the several figures of the Drawings. Elements in the several figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be emphasized relative to other elements for facilitating an understanding of the various presently disclosed embodiments. In addition, common, but well-understood, elements that are useful or necessary in commercially feasible embodiments are often not depicted in order to facilitate a less obstructed view of the various embodiments of the present disclosure.

LISTING OF REFERENCE NUMERALS USED IN THE DRAWINGS

[0035] 100 golf ball [0036] 102 user [0037] 104 item [0038] 106 pressure [0039] 200 golf ball holder [0040] 202 receiver assembly [0041] 203 resilient wall [0042] 204 clip assembly [0043] 206 finger assembly [0044] 207 finger or fingers [0045] 208 cleaning medium [0046] 210 actuator assembly [0047] 212 housing assembly [0048] 214 motor assembly [0049] 216 battery assembly [0050] 217 switch [0051] 218 gear assembly [0052] 220 access mechanism [0053] 221 detent mechanism

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE NON-LIMITING EMBODIMENT(S)

[0054] The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the described embodiments or the application and uses of the described embodiments. As used herein, the word "exemplary" or "illustrative" means "serving as an example, instance, or illustration." Any implementation described herein as "exemplary" or "illustrative" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other implementations. All of the implementations described below are exemplary implementations provided to enable persons skilled in the art to make or use the embodiments of the disclosure and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure, which is defined by the claims. For purposes of the description herein, the terms "upper," "lower," "left," "rear," "right," "front," "vertical," "horizontal," and derivatives thereof shall relate to the examples as oriented in the drawings. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any expressed or implied theory presented in the preceding technical field, background, brief summary or the following detailed description. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification, are simply exemplary embodiments (examples), aspects and/or concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise. It is understood that "at least one" is equivalent to "a". The aspects (examples, alterations, modifications, options, variations, embodiments and any equivalent thereof) are described with reference to the drawings. It should be understood that the invention is limited to the subject matter provided by the claims, and that the invention is not limited to the particular aspects depicted and described.

[0055] FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D depict a perspective view, another perspective view, a front-perspective view, and a side view (respectively), of a first example of a golf ball holder 200.

[0056] A user 102 (known as the golfer) inserts a golf ball 100 (by application of a user-applied force to the golf ball 100) in such a way that the golf ball 100 enters, at least in part, into the golf ball holder 200. The user 102 may remove the golf ball 100 from the golf ball holder 200 once the user 102 requires the golf ball 100 during a golf game (for instance). The golf ball 100 may be any conventional (standard) golf ball 100. As depicted in FIG. 1A, the golf ball holder 200 is ready to receive the golf ball 100.

[0057] Generally, the golf ball holder 200 is configured to receive and hold the golf ball 100, until required by the user 102. The golf ball holder 200 is configured to hold the golf ball 100 in place (for convenience), and to allow for golf ball access when required by the user 102 (during the golf game).

[0058] Generally, the golf ball holder 200 includes a receiver assembly 202. The receiver assembly 202 may be called a housing. For example, the receiver assembly 202 provides a resilient wall 203. It will be appreciated that the receiver assembly 202 may be resilient and/or the resilient wall 203 may be resilient (any one or both, but preferably both, if so desired).

[0059] As depicted in FIG. 1B and FIG. 1D, more specifically, the receiver assembly 202 (or the resilient wall 203) is configured to form a stressed shape in response to the application of a stressing force to the receiver assembly 202, and in the stressed shape, a golf ball 100 is any one of: (A) receivable in the receiver assembly 202 (as depicted in FIG. 1B), (B) releasable from the receiver assembly 202 (as depicted in FIG. 1D), and (C) receivable in the receiver assembly 202 and releasable from the receiver assembly 202.

[0060] The receiver assembly 202 (or the resilient wall 203) is further configured to form an unstressed shape (as depicted in FIG. 1A) in response to the removal of the stressing force from the receiver assembly 202 (the stressing force is depicted as the pressure 106 in FIG. 1D). In the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly 202 is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball 100. The unstressed shape is also known as the ready-to-receive shape, as depicted in FIG. 1A. As depicted in FIG. 1C, the golf ball 100 is received and is held by the receiver assembly 202 in a ball-received state. In the ball-received state, the receiver assembly 202 (as depicted in FIG. 1C) may be in a stressed condition or may be in an unstressed condition (as desired or required).

[0061] The receiver assembly 202 (or the resilient wall 203) is further configured to return to the unstressed shape (also called the normal shape, as depicted in FIG. 1A) from the stressed shape (also called the deformed state, as depicted in FIG. 1D) in response to the removal of the pressure 106 from the receiver assembly 202; that is, the user 102 stops applying the pressure 106 to the receiver assembly 202.

[0062] In view of the above, there is provided a method of operating the golf ball holder 200. The method includes applying a stressing force to any one of the resilient wall 203 and/or the receiver assembly 202; this is done in such a way that the resilient wall 203 and/or the receiver assembly 202 forms a stressed shape; in the stressed shape, a golf ball 100 is releasable from the receiver assembly 202. The method also includes removing the stressing force from the resilient wall 203 and/or the receiver assembly 202; this is done in such a way that the resilient wall 203 and/or the receiver assembly 202 forms an unstressed shape; in the unstressed shape, the receiver assembly 202 is ready to receive and to hold the golf ball 100.

[0063] The receiver assembly 202 (or the resilient wall 203) is configured to recoil or spring back or return to the unstressed shape (the original shape or the original position as depicted in FIG. 1A) from the stressed shape (as depicted in FIG. 1D) in response to the removal of a force (the pressure 106, a bending force, a stretching force, and/or a compression force) from the resilient wall 203.

[0064] More specifically, the receiver assembly 202 and/or the resilient wall 203 includes a resilient material. The resilient material is a material, such as a resilient plastic material, that retains its characteristic flexibility when subjected to extreme cold or heat. For example, the receiver assembly 202 or the resilient wall 203 may include any resilient material, such as a plastic material that may have an ultra-violet (UV) light protectant or a UV stabilizer. The UV stabilizer is configured to protect the plastic resilient material from long-term degradation effects from light, most frequently ultraviolet radiation.

[0065] The receiver assembly 202 defines an inner surface that surrounds an inner cavity formed, at least in part, by the receiver assembly 202. The inner cavity is shaped, at least in part, to match, at least in part, the shape of the outer wall of the golf ball 100. The shape of the inner surface of the receiver assembly 202 conforms, at least in part, to the shape of the outer wall of the golf ball 100 once the receiver assembly 202 is in the unstressed condition (depicted in FIG. 1A). As well, the shape of the inner surface of the receiver assembly 202 conforms, at least in part, to the shape of the outer wall of the golf ball 100 once the receiver assembly 202 receives and holds the golf ball 100 in the ball-received condition (as depicted in FIG. 1C) if so desired.

[0066] For example, the receiver assembly 202 may have: (A) a semi-spherical shape that provides, at least in part, the resilient wall 203, or (B) a spherical-like shape, etc.

[0067] Generally, the receiver assembly 202 is configured to receive, at least in part (as depicted in FIG. 1D), a squeezing force (the pressure 106) in such a way that the receiver assembly 202 transfers the squeezing force to the golf ball 100 (via the resilient wall 203), and the force that is transferred is large enough to urge the exit (removal) of the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202.

[0068] In accordance with an option, a clip assembly 204 is attached to the receiver assembly 202. The clip assembly 204 is attached to a base portion of the receiver assembly 202. The clip assembly 204 is configured to attach or couple the receiver assembly 202 to an item of clothing of the user 102, such as a belt buckle, a golf bag, etc.

[0069] In accordance with an option, a finger assembly 206 extends from the receiver assembly 202. More specifically, the finger assembly 206 includes at least one instance of a finger 207. The finger assembly 206 extends away from an opening defined by the receiver assembly 202. More specifically, the finger assembly 206 extends along a longitudinal axis extending from the receiver assembly 202 out from the opening defined by the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 extends away from the base portion of the receiver assembly 202, along a longitudinal axis extending from the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 is configured to extend (enclose), at least in part, around the golf ball 100 once the golf ball 100 is inserted into the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 includes any suitable number or instances of the finger 207. By way of example, the finger assembly 206 includes: (A) a single instance of the finger 207 that extends from the receiver assembly 202 and extends at least partly around the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202; (B) two instances of the finger 207 that extend from the receiver assembly 202, and extend at least partly around the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202, and may be positioned on opposite sides of the receiver assembly 202; (C) three instances of the finger 207 that extend from the receiver assembly 202, and extend at least partly around the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202, and may be positioned (equidistant relative to each other) on the receiver assembly 202; (D) four instances of the finger 207 that extend from the receiver assembly 202, and extend at least partly around the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202; and (E) at least two instances of the finger 207 that extend from the receiver assembly 202, and extend at least partly around the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202. The finger 207 of the finger assembly 206 may have any suitable shape and/or size, such as a rounded shape, a square shape, a triangular shape, etc.

[0070] Generally, the receiver assembly 202 is configured to hold the golf ball 100, and the finger assembly 206 is configured to (resiliently) contain (enclose) the golf ball 100 in the receiver assembly 202 once the golf ball 100 is received by the receiver assembly 202.

[0071] As the golf ball 100 is introduced into the receiver assembly 202, the finger assembly 206 (the fingers 207) spreads open (spreads apart or fans outwardly) in such a way as to allow the golf ball 100 to continue to enter (or exit) the receiver assembly 202. Once the golf ball 100 is received and positioned in the receiver assembly 202, the finger assembly 206 (the fingers 207) fans inwardly in such a way that the finger assembly 206 (the fingers 207) encloses, at least in part, the golf ball 100 that is held by the receiver assembly 202. It will be appreciated that the finger assembly 206 is configured to be resilient, and/or at least one instance of the finger 207 is configured to be resilient.

[0072] Referring to FIG. 1D, to release the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, the receiver assembly 202 is configured to receive a pressure 106 that is applicable to the opposite sides of the receiver assembly 202; this is done in such a way as to squeeze the golf ball 100 out from the receiver assembly 202, and as the golf ball 100 moves away from the receiver assembly 202, the finger assembly 206 is urged to fan outwardly (in a resilient manner) to allow exit of the golf ball 100.

[0073] Operatively, to release the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, the pressure 106 (release pressure) is applied on the opposite sides of the receiver assembly 202 in such a way as to squeeze the golf ball 100 out from the receiver assembly 202 (a squeezing effect), and as the golf ball 100 moves away from the receiver assembly 202, the finger assembly 206 is urged to fan outwardly (expand outwardly). As the golf ball 100 is urged past a certain point, the finger assembly 206 may assist in pushing the golf ball 100 out and away from the receiver assembly 202, and eventually the user 102 may grab and pull the golf ball 100 away from the golf ball holder 200.

[0074] Referring to FIG. 1B, the golf ball holder 200 is partly receiving the golf ball 100. The user 102 is pushing the golf ball 100 past the finger assembly 206. The finger assembly 206 is configured to be resilient (spring like), and is configured to flex in such a way as to open so that the golf ball 100 is receivable in the inner chamber defined by the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 includes instances of the finger 207; as depicted for this example, the fingers 207 each define a rounded frontal portion with side sections that are spaced apart from each other, and the side sections of each instance of the finger 207 are joined at a connection zone where each instance of the finger 207 connects to the receiver assembly 202.

[0075] Referring to FIG. 1C, the golf ball 100 is operatively received and held by the receiver assembly 202. In accordance with an option, the instances of the finger 207 of the finger assembly 206 may come together but not necessarily touch adjacently positioned instances of the finger 207, if so desired.

[0076] Referring to FIG. 1D, to remove the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, the user 102 may pinch the receiver assembly 202 (in the base portion), causing or urging the golf ball 100 to move past the finger assembly 206 and into the open hand of the user 102. The finger assembly 206 is urged to move outwardly to accommodate movement of the golf ball 100 into the open hand of the user 102. Preferably, with minimal effort, the golf ball 100 may be received into the same hand of the user 102.

[0077] FIGS. 2A and 2B depict side views of a second example of the golf ball holder 200, which is a variation of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 1A.

[0078] Referring to FIG. 2A, the golf ball holder 200 is depicted as not holding the golf ball 100 of FIG. 2B. The golf ball holder 200 is ready (in the ready-to-receive state) to receive the golf ball 100 of FIG. 2B. In accordance with this example, the finger assembly 206 provides instances of the finger 207, in which each instance of the finger 207 has sides that touch the sides of adjacently located instances of the finger 207, as depicted, when the receiver assembly 202 does not receive the golf ball 100. Of course, other variations of the fingers 207 may provide a small gap placed between adjacently located instances of the finger 207 if so desired (in the state or condition as depicted in FIG. 2A).

[0079] Once the golf ball 100 is inserted into the open zone defined by the tip of the finger assembly 206, then the fingers 207 resiliently spread apart (fan outwardly), thus allowing entrance of the golf ball 100 into the receiver assembly 202 by way of the opening defined by the receiver assembly 202. The fingers 207 extend from the outer edge (peripheral edge) of the receiver assembly 202 at the opening defined by the receiver assembly 202.

[0080] The clip assembly 204 is configured to attach the receiver assembly 202 to an item 104. The item 104 may include, for instance, the belt of the user 102, a golf bag, etc. The clip assembly 204 extends from the base portion of the receiver assembly 202. The clip assembly 204 may include a resilient portion (having a metal portion and/or a plastic portion).

[0081] Referring to FIG. 2B, the golf ball holder 200 is depicted as receiving and holding the golf ball 100. Once the golf ball 100 has been received and held by the receiver assembly 202, the finger assembly 206 flexes (since it is resilient) in such a manner as to enclose (is configured to enclose), at least in part, a first portion of the golf ball 100, while the receiver assembly 202 encloses (is configured to enclose), at least in part, a second portion of the golf ball 100. To remove the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, the user 102 may pinch the receiver assembly 202 (in the base portion), thus causing or urging the golf ball 100 to move past the finger assembly 206 and into the open hand of the user 102 (because the finger assembly 206 and the receiver assembly 202 are resilient, and may temporarily deform to allow removal of the golf ball 100). As the pressure is applied to the receiver assembly 202, the receiver assembly 202 deforms resiliently (at least in part), causing the golf ball 100 to move out from the receiver assembly 202, and then the golf ball 100 pushes against the finger assembly 206, and the finger assembly 206 is urged (by the golf ball 100) to resiliently move outwardly (temporarily deform) in such a manner as to accommodate existing movement of the golf ball 100 out of the golf ball holder 200 (the receiver assembly 202 and the finger assembly 206) and into the open hand of the user 102.

[0082] FIGS. 2C, 2D and 2E depict cross-sectional views of the example of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 2B.

[0083] Referring to FIG. 2A, the receiver assembly 202 is depicted as receiving the golf ball 100. The receiver assembly 202 includes a cleaning medium 208 configured to clean, at least in part, the golf ball 100 in response to the application of a rotational force to the golf ball 100 while the golf ball 100 is received in the receiver assembly 202. More specifically, the cleaning medium 208 is configured to wipe, at least in part, debris (dirt) from the outer surface of the golf ball 100 as the golf ball 100 is made to rotate (in the receiver assembly 202) relative to the cleaning medium 208. The cleaning medium 208 is operatively installed (connected fixedly or removably fixed) to the inner wall of the receiver assembly 202. For example, an adhesive may be applied to the inner surface wall of the receiver assembly 202, and the adhesive connects the cleaning medium 208 to the receiver assembly 202. The golf ball 100 may be cleaned, at least in part, (wiped off in part) by application of a rotational force to the golf ball 100. The rotational force may be applied by the user 102. The golf ball 100 rotates (is made to rotate) within the receiver assembly 202, and the outer surface of the golf ball 100 is wiped by the cleaning medium 208 as the golf ball 100 is rotated within the receiver assembly 202. Generally, the cleaning medium 208 is configured to wipe, at least in part, debris from the golf ball 100 in response to the application of a rotational force to the golf ball 100 while the golf ball 100 is received in the receiver assembly 202. It will be appreciated that some dampness may reside in the cleaning medium 208 as a result of cleaning the golf ball 100 that becomes wet during the golf game.

[0084] Referring to FIG. 2D, the golf ball 100 has been removed from the receiver assembly 202. The cleaning medium 208 is adhered to the inner wall of the receiver assembly 202 by the adhesive. The cleaning medium 208 may include a cloth material, a fiber material, a sponge material, a pad, a lining material, a foam material, etc. The cleaning medium 208 is depicted as extending, at least in part, along the inner surface of the receiver assembly 202 and the inner facing surface of the finger assembly 206. At least one of the fingers 207 has the cleaning medium 208 attached thereto (if so desired). It will be appreciated that in accordance with an option, the cleaning medium 208 may be attached to any one of the inner facing surface of the receiver assembly 202 and/or the finger assembly 206, as so desired.

[0085] The following describes an example of the manner for removing the cleaning medium 208, and installing a replacement instance of the cleaning medium 208: after a round of golf, the user 102 (the golf player) may remove the cleaning medium 208 by peeling the cleaning medium 208 away from the receiver assembly 202, starting from the finger assembly 206 and pulling out the cleaning medium 208 from the interior of the receiver assembly 202. An adhesive material, positioned on the interior surface of the receiver assembly 202, adheres to the replacement instance of (the new) the cleaning medium 208. The adhesive material is configured to facilitate multiple applications (reapplications) of the cleaning medium 208 to the inner surface of the receiver assembly 202.

[0086] The following describes an option for cleaning the cleaning medium 208, after the golf game, so that the cleaning medium 208 may be fresh and clean for the next golf game: after a round of golf, the cleaning medium 208 may be cleaned by applying a cleaning solution to the cleaning medium 208 either with the finger 207 of the user 102 or by inserting a cleaning cloth (not depicted) into the interior of the receiver assembly 202, and rotating the finger 207 or the cleaning cloth (and external cleaning rag) in such a way as to clean (remove debris from) the cleaning medium 208. The cleaning medium 208 may be allowed to dry out before the next round of golf.

[0087] In accordance with FIG. 2D, the cleaning medium 208 is configured to cover, at least in part, an inner-facing surface of the finger assembly 206. The cleaning medium 208 is positioned in the base portion (the base) of the receiver assembly 202. The cleaning medium 208 is configured to cover, at least in part, an inner wall of the base portion of the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 is configured to contact (directly or indirectly), at least in part, the golf ball 100 once the golf ball 100 contacts the cleaning medium 208 positioned in the inner cavity defined by the receiver assembly 202.

[0088] Referring to FIG. 2E, the cleaning medium 208 does not extend to cover the finger assembly 206. The cleaning medium 208 is positioned in the base portion or the base of the receiver assembly 202. The cleaning medium 208 is configured to cover, at least in part, an inner wall of a base of the receiver assembly 202. The finger assembly 206 is configured to contact the golf ball 100 once the golf ball 100 contacts the cleaning medium 208 positioned in the inner cavity defined by the receiver assembly 202. Generally speaking, the cleaning medium 208 is configured to cover, at least in part, any one of: (A) an inner wall of a base of the receiver assembly 202; and (B) an inner-facing surface of the finger assembly 206.

[0089] FIG. 2F depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 2B.

[0090] The user 102 applies a rotational force to the golf ball 100 being held by the receiver assembly 202 (in order to clean the golf ball 100). The receiver assembly 202 holds the golf ball 100 with sufficient force so that the golf ball 100 does not inadvertently exit from the receiver assembly 202, but may be rotated within the receiver assembly 202. In this manner, the golf ball 100 may be cleaned before being removed by the user 102.

[0091] FIG. 2G depicts a side view of an actuation option for the example of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 2B.

[0092] In accordance with the actuation option, the user 102 does not have to apply a rotational force to the golf ball 100. An actuator assembly 210 is positioned at the base area or base zone of the receiver assembly 202. The actuator assembly 210 includes a housing assembly 212. The housing assembly 212 is configured to house a motor assembly 214. The housing assembly 212 is configured to house a battery assembly 216 that is connected to the motor assembly 214. A switch 217 is provided, and is configured to connect the battery assembly 216 to the motor assembly 214, under the control of the user 102. The housing assembly 212 is configured to house a gear assembly 218, such as a wheel, etc. The gear assembly 218 is configured to transfer rotational force from the motor assembly 214 to the golf ball 100 being held in the receiver assembly 202. In this manner, the golf ball 100 may be wiped, at least in part, by the cleaning medium 208 of FIG. 2C in response to the rotation of the golf ball 100 resulting from actuation of the motor assembly 214. The housing assembly 212 includes a resilient material. To remove the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, the pressure 106 is applied, at least in part, to opposite sides of the housing assembly 212 in such a way that the pressure 106 is transferred from the housing assembly 212 to the receiver assembly 202. The housing assembly 212 and the receiver assembly 202 temporarily (and resiliently) deform while the pressure 106 is applied to the housing assembly 212. Then, the pressure 106 is transferred to the golf ball 100, and the pressure 106 urges the golf ball 100 to move out from the receiver assembly 202 and past the finger assembly 206 (as previously described).

[0093] FIGS. 3A and 3B depict side views of a third example of the golf ball holder 200, which is a variation of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 1A.

[0094] Referring to FIG. 3A, the golf ball holder 200 is depicted as not holding the golf ball 100, and is ready to receive the golf ball 100. In accordance with the third example of the golf ball holder 200, the receiver assembly 202 includes an access mechanism 220 configured to permit user access to the golf ball 100 held in the receiver assembly 202. In accordance with one option, the access mechanism 220 includes an open access port. The detent mechanism is configured to interact with the golf ball 100 once the user 102 applies pressure to the detent mechanism. In response to the application of pressure to the access mechanism 220 (such as, the detent mechanism), the access mechanism 220 urges the golf ball 100 to move outwardly and away from the receiver assembly 202. The receiver assembly 202 defines an access mechanism 220 in the base portion of the receiver assembly 202. For the case where the clip assembly 204 is not provided, the location of the access mechanism 220 may be positioned directly opposite from (or coaxially aligned with) the open zone formed by the tips of the finger assembly 206. For the case where the clip assembly 204 is provided, the location of the access mechanism 220 may be positioned slightly to one side of the receiver assembly 202. The detent mechanism is a mechanism that provides a catch that prevents motion of an item until released.

[0095] Referring to FIG. 3B, the golf ball holder 200 is depicted as holding the golf ball 100. In accordance with one option, the receiver assembly 202 is configured to present the golf ball 100 to the user 102 in such a way that the user 102 applies a rotational force to the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202, in order to clean the golf ball 100. In accordance with another option, the finger assembly 206 presents the golf ball 100 to the user 102 in such a way that the user 102 applies a rotational force to the golf ball 100 held by the receiver assembly 202, in order to clean the golf ball 100.

[0096] FIGS. 3C and 3D depict side views of the example of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 3B.

[0097] Referring to FIG. 3C, there is depicted a removal option for removing the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202. For example, user 102 applies a force via the access mechanism 220 to the golf ball 100, causing or urging the golf ball 100 to move past the finger assembly 206 and into the open hand of the user 102. The finger assembly 206 is urged to move outwardly to accommodate movement of the golf ball 100 into the open hand of the user 102.

[0098] Referring to FIG. 3D, there is depicted another removal option for removing the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202. For example, the access mechanism 220 is not used (or provided) for removing the golf ball 100. The user 102 may pinch the receiver assembly 202, causing or urging the golf ball 100 to move past the finger assembly 206 and into the open hand of the user 102. The finger assembly 206 is urged to move outwardly to accommodate movement of the golf ball 100 into the open hand of the user 102.

[0099] FIGS. 4A and 4B depict side views of a fourth example of the golf ball holder 200, which is a variation of the golf ball holder 200 of FIG. 1A.

[0100] Referring to FIG. 4A (the fourth example of the golf ball holder 200), the finger assembly 206 is configured to extend in such a way as to nearly encapsulate or cover the golf ball 100, and the fingers 207 of the finger assembly 206 define or provide a relatively smaller instance of the user-access or opening zone. The user 102 applies a pushing force to the golf ball 100 via the access mechanism 220, and in response, the golf ball 100 then is urged out from the receiver assembly 202 and past the tips of the finger assembly 206. The golf ball 100 then moves past or exists past the finger assembly 206 and then drops into the open hand of the user 102.

[0101] For the case where the access mechanism 220 includes an access port defined in the resilient wall 203, the user 102 accesses the golf ball 100 in such a way as to impart a rotational force to the golf ball 100 as the ball is held and permitted to rotate in the receiver assembly 202; in this manner the cleaning medium 208 (if deployed in the receiver assembly 202 and/or the finger assembly 206) may wipe, at least in part, debris from the surface of the golf ball 100 (if so desired) as the golf ball 100 is made to rotate in the receiver assembly 202. In addition, the user 102 may access the golf ball 100 in such a way as to impart an ejection force or pressure to the golf ball 100 via the access port in such a way that the ejection force applied by the user 102 may eject the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202, and the finger assembly 206 resiliently flexes to permit ejection of the golf ball 100 from the receiver assembly 202 of the golf ball holder 200 (and into the hand of the user 102).

[0102] Referring to FIG. 4B, the access mechanism 220 is optional. The user 102 may rotate the golf ball 100 by manipulating or touching the golf ball 100 at the open zone formed by the finger assembly 206. To clean the golf ball 100, the golf ball 100 is rotated within the receiver assembly 202.

[0103] FIG. 4C depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 4A.

[0104] In accordance with another option, the access mechanism 220 includes a detent mechanism 221. The detent mechanism 221 is a catch configured to prevent motion until released or actuated. For example, the detent mechanism 221 includes a closed "concave" button shaped surface and/or a closed "convex" button shaped surface (both are relatively flexible surfaces or structures). The user 102 applies a pushing force (a pressure) to the golf ball 100 via the detent mechanism 221 (that is, the access mechanism 220); in response, the access mechanism 220 urges (pushes) the golf ball 100 out from the receiver assembly 202 and past the tips of the finger assembly 206. In FIG. 4A, the user has not yet touched the detent mechanism 221, and therefore there is no application (direct or indirect) of the pushing force (the pressure) to the golf ball 100 from the user (since the user has not yet touched the detent mechanism 221).

[0105] FIG. 4D depicts a side view of the example of the golf ball holder of FIG. 4A.

[0106] In FIG. 4B, the detent mechanism 221 does apply the pressure 106 to the golf ball 100 as a result of the user 102 applying the pressure 106 to the detent mechanism 221. Generally, the detent mechanism 221 is configured to apply the pressure 106 to the golf ball 100 in response to user application of a pressure 106 to the detent mechanism 221; in this manner, the user 102 has pushed (directly) the detent mechanism 221 toward the golf ball 100, and the detent mechanism 221 touches (contacts) and urges the golf ball 100 out from the receiver assembly 202.

[0107] It will be appreciated that any one or more of the technical features and/or any one or more sections of the technical features of the golf ball holder 200 may be combined with any other one or more of the technical features and/or any other one or more sections of the technical features of the golf ball holder 200 in any combination and/or permutation. Any one or more of the technical features and/or any one or more sections of the technical features of the golf ball holder 200 may stand on its own merit without having to be combined with another other technical feature.

[0108] This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims. It may be appreciated that the assemblies and modules described above may be connected with each other as may be required to perform desired functions and tasks that are within the scope of persons of skill in the art to make such combinations and permutations without having to describe each and every one of them in explicit terms. There is no particular assembly, or components, that are superior to any of the equivalents available to the art. There is no particular mode of practicing the disclosed subject matter that is superior to others, so long as the functions may be performed. It is believed that all the crucial aspects of the disclosed subject matter have been provided in this document. It is understood that the scope of the present invention is limited to the scope provided by the independent claim(s), and it is also understood that the scope of the present invention is not limited to: (i) the dependent claims, (ii) the detailed description of the non-limiting embodiments, (iii) the summary, (iv) the abstract, and/or (v) the description provided outside of this document (that is, outside of the instant application as filed, as prosecuted, and/or as granted). It is understood, for the purposes of this document, that the phrase "includes" is equivalent to the word "comprising." It is noted that the foregoing has outlined the non-limiting embodiments (examples). The description is made for particular non-limiting embodiments (examples). It is understood that the non-limiting embodiments are merely illustrative as examples.

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