Patent application title: IMPROVED GOLF CLUB CARRIER
James Pittman (Cleckheaton, GB)
IPC8 Class: AA63B5500FI
Class name: For a golf club golf bag including means for separating club shafts
Publication date: 2012-02-02
Patent application number: 20120024730
A kit is provided for carrying golf clubs. The kit comprises a golf club
carrier and a user interface. The golf club carrier includes two
receptacles each for receiving a golf club. The golf club carrier further
includes a club selection aid comprising a highlighting means, wherein
the highlighting means is controlled to highlight the golf club stowed
within either the first receptacle or the second receptacle. The club
selection aid highlights the club by drawing a user's attention to the
club. The club selection aid includes a receiver for receiving a control
signal. The receiver controls the highlighting means to highlight the
1. A kit for carrying golf clubs wherein the kit comprises: a golf club
carrier and a club selection aid; wherein the golf club carrier has two
or more receptacles each for receiving a golf club by relative movement
along a golf club's axial direction, and a rigid cover having an openable
door wherein relative movement between the receptacles and openable door
causes the golf club carrier to be arranged in at least two arrangements,
in each arrangement access of a golf club through the openable door is
provided to a different receptacle and access of a golf club to the other
receptacles is prevented by the cover; and the club selection aid is
operable to cause the golf club carrier to be arranged so that a desired
receptacle is accessible through the openable door and to subsequently
highlight the desired golf club.
2. The kit of claim 1, wherein the club selection aid comprises a user interface having at least two selectors, wherein, each selector corresponds to one of the receptacles where a golf club will, in use, be stowed in the golf club carrier and operation of a selector is arranged to cause the club selection aid to re-arrange the golf club carrier and to highlight the corresponding club when the receptacle is ready to be accessed through the openable door.
3. The kit of claim 1, wherein the club selection aid visually alerts the user to the desired club.
4. The kit of claim 3, wherein the club selection aid comprises an ejector that is arranged, in use, to eject a club stowed in the receptacle determined by the user interface to protrude higher than the un-selected clubs.
5. The kit of claim 4, wherein the ejected club is raised through the openable door and abutment between the ejected club and openable door causes the openable door to open.
6. The kit of claim 5, wherein an ejector is provided under each receptacle.
7. The kit of claim 5, wherein two-or-more receptacles share a common ejector and relative movement between the ejector and each common receptacle enables the club within the receptacle determined by the user interface to be ejected.
8. The kit of claim 7 wherein each receptacle is arranged so that a club stowed therein is positioned on a circumferential location, the club selection aid including a rotation means to rotate either the ejector or the receptacles relative to the other in order to align the club within the receptacle determined by the user interface with the ejector.
9. The kit of claim 8, wherein the receptacles are rotated relative to the ejector so that the desired receptacle is in a predefined location prior to ejection.
10. The kit of claim 9, wherein the club selection aid additionally or alternatively to the ejector comprises an illumination means to alert the user to the correct club's receptacle being aligned at the predefined location.
11. The kit of claim 1, wherein each openable door is arranged to be moved from a position in which the club beneath is at least partially obscured to a position in which the club can be removed from the receptacle.
12. The kit as claimed in claim 11 in which ejection of the club is arranged to cause the movement of the cover.
13. The kit of claim 1, wherein the golf club carrier and club selection aid are housed within a flexible bag and the flexible bag resembles known golf bags.
16. A method for carrying golf clubs and comprising the steps of: providing a golf club carrier and a club selection aid, wherein the golf club carrier has two or more receptacles each for receiving a golf club by relative movement along a golf club's axial direction, and a rigid cover having an openable door wherein relative movement between the receptacles and openable door causes the golf club carrier to be arranged in at least two arrangements, in each arrangement access of a golf club through the openable door is provided to a different receptacle and access of a golf club to the other receptacles is prevented by the cover, the club selection aid being operable to cause the golf club carrier to be arranged so that a desired receptacle is accessible through the openable door and to subsequently highlight the desired golf club; rearranging the golf club carrier so that a desired receptacle of the golf club carrier is accessible through the openable door; indicating when a golf club is accessible through a desired receptacle; and placing a golf club into or removing a golf club from the desired receptacle.
17. The method according to claim 16, wherein the method comprising using a user interface to automatically rearrange and highlight the golf club upon operation of the user interface.
 The present invention relates to an improved golf club carrier and
a method of selecting a desired golf club from a carrier. In particular,
although not exclusively, the present invention relates to an improved
golf bag and related method.
 Golf bags in general are well known and comprise a carrier partitioned into a number of chambers for receiving golf clubs, handle (i.e. grip) first, through an open top. The golf clubs are generally arranged so that their shafts are aligned along a longitudinal axis of the golf bag. A bottom of a handle of the golf club rests on a common floor. Different golf clubs are different lengths, which allow the heads of some shafts to be stowed above the heads of others. In order to avoid the golf clubs becoming damaged due to them crashing around during transport, it is known to place socks over the head and shafts of individual golf clubs to protect them from damage.
 The golf club heads generally protrude from the open top of the golf bag. This allows numbering on the bottom of each golf club's head to be visible to the player when making a selection. Moreover, the head of each golf club is visible to the player so that the selection of the appropriate club may also be based on visual recognition of the club. It has been noted that many players also desire the clubs to be visible so that their clubs can be on show to other golfers.
 It is known for golf bags to include a removable, flexible rain cover to protect the clubs and to prevent them from getting wet, which can cause the shafts and grips to become slippery. Such covers are generally releasably coupled to a rim about the top of the golf bag and have a zipped opening to allow access to the inside. However, such covers are clumsy and awkward to attach to the bag and reduce the visibility of the clubs, particularly those furthest from the opening.
 The rules of golf state that, when on the course, a golf bag may contain no more than 14 clubs. These can be a selection of woods, irons and putters dependant on the individual players' preference. When on the course, players transport the golf bag so that they have the whole selection of clubs to choose from when they reach each particular shot.
 When a player approaches their ball, they assess the conditions, distance and trajectory that they want the ball to go and subsequently make a mental decision as to which club to play the ball with. Once they have made their decision, they select the appropriate club, play their shot and replace the club in the bag. The player then transports the golf bag to the next shot, which can be a matter of yards or up to several hundred yards.
 When on the golf course, it is desirable to avoid "slow play" at all times. Thus it is important that players do not spend unnecessary time selecting the correct club from their golf bag.
 Whilst players may arrange their clubs at the beginning of the round to be in a known order, as the player progresses around the course, the clubs can become dis-organised and so the player must search through the golf bag each time a club is to be selected from the bag. Moreover, the head's of forward golf clubs may obscure clubs behind them, thus making a quick selection more difficult.
 US2006/0138161 discloses a golf bag that aids club selection by ejecting into the air a desired club. The golf bag is provided with a plurality of steel tubes provided with moveable cylinders coupled to elastic cords. The cylinders are retained in place by a remotely actuated latch. When actuated, the latch releases the cylinders, causing the golf clubs resting thereupon to forcefully exit the tubes, launching the golf clubs into the air. By placing the ejected golf clubs back into the tube against the force of the elastic band, the system may be reset for a subsequent launch. Whilst the disclosure may improve club selection from the golf bag, it is desirable to avoid the possibility of causing damage to clubs. For instance as the bag is carried around a course, it is possible that when a club with a relatively short shaft is ejected, because the head may be positioned at least partially under a head of a club with a relatively longer shaft, there is a risk that the ejected club will ram into another club thereby damaging the club or causing both clubs to be ejected. Furthermore, it is known for golf bag straps to break when carried or for a golf bag to fall over. As such there is a risk that the clubs can be tipped out of the steel tubes. Protecting the user and surrounding environment from moving parts and flying golf clubs is also a paramount concern.
 Players may choose to manually carry the golf bag around the course. However, it is also know for golf bags to be attached to golf trolleys or golf buggies. In this case, selection is made harder because the player generally views the golf bag from one aspect, thus exacerbating the difficulty when clubs nearer to the player obscure those clubs behind.
 It is an aim of the present invention to overcome at least one of the above or other identified problem.
 It is a further aim of the present invention to provide a golf carrier and a method of selecting a golf club from a golf bag that allows a player to select a desired club from the golf bag quicker and in a more convenient manner.
 According to the present invention there is provided an apparatus and method as set forth in the appended claims. Other features of the invention will be apparent from the dependent claims, and the description which follows.
 According to a first aspect there is provided a kit for carrying golf clubs wherein the kit comprises: a golf club carrier for stowing two or more golf clubs; and a club selection aid; wherein the club selection aid is operable to highlight a desired golf club.
 In one exemplary embodiment each golf club is received in a receptacle. Thus the golf club carrier has two or more receptacles. In this particular embodiment the golf club carrier includes a rigid cover. The rigid cover has an openable door. Here, relative movement between the receptacles and openable door causes the golf club carrier to be arranged in at least two arrangements. In each arrangement, access of a golf club through the openable door is provided to a different receptacle and access of a golf club to the other receptacles to that which access is provided is prevented by the cover. Consequently, the golf club carrier is arrangeable so that a desired golf club is accessible through the openable door. Here the club selection aid subsequently highlights the desired golf club.
 In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the golf club carrier comprises at least two receptacles. Each receptacle is suitable for receiving a golf club so that it can be stowed. In this embodiment the club selection aid comprises an ejector that is able to be arranged to eject a club stowed in a user selectable receptacle. The ejector is controlled to cause the selected golf club to protrude higher than the un-selected clubs. Here two or more receptacles share a common ejector and relative movement between the ejector and each common receptacle enables the club within the receptacle determined to be raised. Preferably, the golf club carrier includes a rigid cover having an openable door. Here the openable door is aligned with, and fixed relative to the ejector. Thus the golf club carrier can be arranged in at least two arrangements. In each arrangement, access of a golf club through the openable door is provided to a different receptacle and access of a golf club to the other receptacles to that which access is provided is prevented by the cover. Consequently, the golf club carrier is arrangeable so that a desired golf club is accessible through the openable door. Here the club selection aid subsequently highlights the desired golf club by raising it using the ejector.
 In the exemplary embodiments the club selection aid preferably comprises a user interface. Suitably, the user interface includes at least two selectors. Here, each selector corresponds to a golf club stowed in the golf club carrier. Operation of a selector causes the club selection aid to highlight the corresponding club. Preferably the user interface is separate to the golf club carrier. Here, the user interface communicates wirelessly with a receiver in the golf club carrier.
 In the exemplary embodiments, the user interface is suitably a portable unit. Preferably, the portable unit is sized so as to fit in a pocket of a user. The user interface may also be incorporated into other electronic equipment used by a golfer. Suitably, the user interface communicates wirelessly with a receiver of a golf club carrier. Each selector may be marked with a suitable marking to identify the club that the selector corresponds to.
 In the exemplary embodiments the golf club carrier comprises a club selection aid that visually alerts the user to the desired club. Suitably, the golf club carrier comprises at least two receptacles, each for storing a golf club. Thus for instance, the club selection aid may comprise an ejector that ejects a club stowed in the receptacle determined by the user interface to protrude higher than the un-selected clubs. Suitably, an ejector may be provided under each receptacle. Here each receptacle may have a corresponding openable door. Alternatively, two-or-more receptacles may share a common ejector. Here, an openable door may be provided above each common ejector. Relative movement between the ejector and each common receptacle may enable the club within the receptacle determined by the user interface to be raised. Preferably the receptacles are arranged so that each club is stowed on a circumferential location. Here, the club selection aid includes a rotation means to rotate at least one of the ejector or receptacles relative to the other. It is advantageous if the receptacles are rotated as here, the desired club is always ejected at the same predefined location relative to the position of the golf club carrier. When the receptacles are rotated so that the desired receptacle is in a predefined location prior to ejection, the club selection aid may additionally or alternatively to the ejector comprise an illumination means to alert the user to the correct club's receptacle being aligned at the predefined location. Thus only one openable door is provided in the rigid cover corresponding to the pre-defined location. It is advantageous for the golf clubs to be rotated to a pre-determined position as this enables the golfer to know exactly where to look.
 Suitably, the golf club carrier comprises a top section. The top section may comprise two or more tubes, each tube forming a receptacle. The tubes may be arranged about a central axis. Thus the top section may be rotatable about the central axis. The golf club carrier may also comprise a bottom section. The bottom section may rotatably mount the top section. The bottom section may include a rotation means. The bottom section may include the ejector. The bottom section may remain stationary relative to a surface that it is rested on.
 In the exemplary embodiments, the club selection aid includes a receiver for receiving a control signal from a user interface. The control signal determines the desired receptacle to be highlighted. The receiver may be wireless.
 The golf club carrier may be incorporated into a golf bag. That is, the golf club carrier may be inserted into a housing. The housing may include the rigid cover that is fixed relative to the bottom section. The rigid cover may prevent access to the receptacles. Here, the rigid cover includes an aperture, through which a golf club may be removed. When the golf club carrier includes a rotation means that rotates the desired receptacle to a predefined location, the aperture denotes the pre-determined location. Thus the cover protects a user from movement of the golf clubs.
 According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a golf club carrier comprising at least two receptacles each for receiving a single golf club and a controllable club selection aid that is controllable by a user interface to highlight a golf club stored in a receptacle determined by the user interface. Thus there is provided a golf carrier for use in the kit of the first aspect.
 According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a user interface for controlling a club selection aid of a golf club carrier wherein the user interface includes, at least two operable buttons, each button being operable to control a club selection aid of a golf carrier to highlight a golf club stored in a receptacle corresponding to said operable button.
 According to a fourth aspect, there is provided a method of selecting a golf club from a golf club carrier, the method comprising causing a desired golf club stowed within a golf club carrier to be highlighted and subsequently removing the desired golf club from the golf club carrier by moving the golf club through an openable door formed in a rigid cover. The method may comprise operating a user interface to cause the desired club to be highlighted. The method may comprise causing a club selection aid of a golf club carrier to visually highlight the desired club. The method may comprise causing the desired golf club to be raised upwards of the other stowed clubs. The method may comprise rotating a top section of the golf club carrier stowing the golf clubs relative to a bottom section, such that the desired club is moved to a predetermined location. The method may comprise using a height unification means to cause the heads of each golf club to be stowed at a common height.
 According to a further aspect there is provided a height unification means for a golf club carrier. The height unification means comprises a plate that is removably attachable to a golf club carrier. The plate includes an aperture for receiving a handle of a golf club and a locating means for retaining a head of a golf club in a desired position relative to the plate. The height unification means may preferably include height adjustment inserts. Advantageously the height unification means is customisable for individual golfers or for individual club manufacturers.
 It will be appreciated that whilst the height unification means may be used to improve any golf club carrier it is particularly suited to the previous embodiments.
 For a better understanding of the invention, and to show how embodiments of the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which:
 FIG. 1 shows a kit for carrying golf clubs according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
 FIG. 2 shows an optional arrangement of the first embodiment.
 FIG. 3 shows a cross-section through a golf club carrier that forms part of the kit.
 FIG. 4 shows an enlarged pictorial view of an area of FIG. 3.
 FIG. 5 shows a top view of FIG. 3.
 FIG. 6 shows a golf club carrier according to a third embodiment.
 FIGS. 7a and 7b are top views of a removable plate.
 FIG. 8 is a pictorial cross-sectional view of an end of a receptacle.
 Referring to FIG. 1, a kit 10 is shown for carrying golf clubs 12. The kit comprises a golf club carrier 20 and a user interface 30. The golf club carrier 20 includes two receptacles 21, 22 each for receiving a golf club 12 such that the golf clubs can be removed from the receptacles by moving the clubs relative to a longitudinal length of the tubes. The golf club carrier 20 further includes a club selection aid comprising a highlighting means, wherein the highlighting means is controlled to highlight the golf club 12 stowed within either the first receptacle 21 or the second receptacle 22. The club selection aid highlights the club by drawing a user's attention to the club. The club selection aid includes a receiver 41 for receiving a control signal. The receiver controls the highlighting means to highlight the desired club. The golf club carrier 20 further includes a rigid cover 50. The rigid cover 50 includes openable doors 51, 52 located above each receptacle 21, 22. Each openable door is pivotable to allow the golf club to be removed.
 The user interface 30 comprises a first 31 and second 32 operable button. Operating the first button causes a transmitter 34 of the user interface 30 to transmit a wireless control signal to the receiver 41. The signal instructs the club selection aid to highlight the golf club stowed within the first receptacle 21. Thus the golfer may immediately select the correct club from the golf cub carrier. Operation of the second operable button 32 causes the club selection aid to highlight the other golf club. For instance, the club selections aid may cause the desired golf club to be ejected or raised above the other golf club. Alternatively or additionally the club selection aid may cause an illumination means to highlight the desired club or the openable door containing the desired club.
 Advantageously, the rigid hood having openable doors is more convenient than known flexible rain hoods. Moreover, because the club selection aid highlights the desired club, club selection is quicker as compared to known flexible rain hoods that only hinder club selection. Consequently, because the rigid hood having an openable door is able to quickly identify a desired club, it is not necessary to remove the hood during dry weather. Consequently, the chance of the club becoming wet during rain is reduced because there is not a delay between the rain starting and the flexible hood being attached to the bag.
 A preferable method of highlighting the desired club is to cause the club to protrude through the respective openable door in the rigid hood. As shown, in FIG. 2, this may be achieved by providing an ejector 53, 54 beneath each receptacle 51, 52, wherein each ejector is selectively operated by the receiver 41 to raise the golf club stowed within the respective receptacle. As the golf club 12 rises it abuts the openable door 51, which in this case pivots upwardly. Thus, the abutment causes the door to open. The selected club 12 is therefore immediately evident to the golfer.
 It is advantageous to reduce the number of components within the golf bag in order to save costs and also reduce weight. Therefore, it is preferred if a single ejector is arranged to selectively eject clubs from within two or more receptacles. This can be achieved by moving the ejector relative to two or more receptacles. However, to yet further improve the speed of selection, particularly when the golf bag is carried on a golf buggy, it is preferred that the receptacles move relative to the golf bag. Thus, the desired club can be ejected from a common point. Consequently, it is necessary to provide only one ejector and only one openable door. Again, additional or alternatively to the ejector, the highlighting means may be used visually to indicate when the desired club is ready to be removed from the openable door.
 Referring to FIG. 3, a second embodiment of a golf club carrier 20 is shown. The golf club carrier 20 includes a plurality of receptacles, such as tubes 23. Any number of tubes above two may be provided. Suitably, however, the number of tubes may be around 14 as this is the current maximum number of clubs allowed to be carried under the rules of golf. Each tube 23 forms a receptacle for receiving a handle and shaft of a golf club. At a lowermost portion of the tube, the internal diameter narrows to form a ledge 85. The ledge 85 allows the end of the club's handle to rest thereon. The tubes 23 are positioned parallel to each other and extend upwardly. The tubes 23 are arranged on a circumferential location (as shown in FIG. 4). The tubes 23 are integrally formed with a top plate 24 and bottom plate 25 to form a top section 29. At a centre of the circumference that the tubes are located on, the top and bottom plates include an aperture. The top and bottom plates include annular flanges 26, 27 turned towards each other. The annular flanges include locks 28 that lock the top section to a shaft 50. Thus rotation of the shaft 50, rotates the tubes 23.
 The shaft 50 is rotatably mounted in a bottom section 60. Here the bottom section 60 includes two spaced frame plates 61, 62. Each frame plate 61, 62 includes a central aperture through which the shaft 50 extends. The central aperture of each frame plate 61, 62 has an outwardly turned annular flange 63, 64. Combined radial thrust bearings 65, 66 co-operate with the annular flanges and shaft 50 to rotatably support the shaft 50 and top section 29.
 A motor 70 is secured to the underside of the lower most frame plate 62. Suitably, the motor 70 is an electric motor, such as a Valeo® 12 vdc geared motor. Thus battery means (not shown) are also housed within the lower section. It will be appreciated that the battery means will be advantageously rechargeable in a well known manner. The motor 70 includes a gear that co-operates with an end of the shaft 50 in order to rotate the shaft. As will be appreciated, the motor is required to rotate the shaft 50 to discrete locations such that at each location a tube is located at a predetermined position. As such it is necessary for the motor to include control means such as a controller, relay, proximity sensor and encoder. Such control means operate in a well known manner to rotate the shaft between a number of discrete locations.
 The two frame plates 61, 62 are spaced apart by spacers 67 secured between the two frame plates. Located in the space between the two frame plates 61, 63 is a highlighting means such as an ejector 80. The ejector 80 is positioned under a tube 23. Suitably, the ejector 80 comprises a vertical linear actuator that is controllable to raise and lower an abutment member 82. When in the lowered position (as shown) the abutment member 82 is clear of the top section such that the top section is free to rotate. When in the raised position the abutment member 82 extends through the lowermost aperture 84 of the tube 23. The abutment member 82 rises higher than the ledge 85, thereby abutting the end of a golf club stowed in the tube 23. Thus the golf club is caused to be raised upwardly. As an alternative, a linear actuator may be mounted substantially perpendicular to the receptacles in order to reduce the size of the apparatus. Here, an abutment member (which may be separate to the actuator) is flexible and restrained within a bent tubing in order to raise the club upwardly. Alternatively, other know mechanisms may be used in order to move the abutment member upwardly and downwardly relative to the receptacles. For instance, the ejector 80 may comprise a rack and pinion. Here a motor is arranged to drive a pinion in any well know manner. The rack is connected to or forms an abutment member to move the golf club. Thus rotation of the pinion in one direction causes the rack to raise the golf club and movement in the other direction causes the rack to lower the golf club.
 Due to manufacturing and control tolerances, it is not always possible to rotate the tube to be exactly coincident with the ejector. Thus to compensate for this, as shown in FIG. 4, the diameter of the abutment member 82 is sized so as to be smaller than the lower most aperture 84. Thus some misalignment is accounted for. Furthermore, the walls of the aperture and the tip of the abutment member are tapered. Thus, if the abutment member abuts the tube, the tapers act to urge the abutment member to become more coincident with the tube and therefore continue to raise rather than jamming against the tube.
 Referring to FIG. 5, in use, a user interface 40 sends a control signal to a receiver 41. In turn the receiver 41 controls the motor to rotate the shaft 50 a desired degree of angular rotation such that the desired tube is aligned above the ejector. Once aligned, the ejector is operated to push the golf club stowed within the tube upwardly. Thus the desired golf club is caused to protrude above the other stowed golf clubs and a golfer may easily select the correct club. Since the location of the button corresponding to the golf club is fixed in relation to the user interface, the golfer will quickly become familiar with the layout and be able to operate the desired button quickly. Thus rather than searching through a number of clubs, the golfer can select the correct club by operating the button corresponding to that club and then picking the club raised up from the others. Moreover, because the desired club has been rotated to a pre-defined position, the golfer knows exactly where the club will be.
 Once the golfer has played their shot, the club can be returned to the empty tube 23. A default button on the user interface may then be operated to cause the ejector to drop downwardly, thus allowing the club to drop under gravity to be stowed within the tube. Alternatively, the ejector may be caused to drop downwardly after a specific time interval. The time interval may be between 2 and 10 second and preferably around 5 seconds. Consequently, the club is raised for sufficient time to remove the club, but is in the lowered position when the user comes to return the club after playing their shot. As such, the user can simply insert the club without needing to push further buttons or take further action. When another club is desired, the golfer operates the corresponding button. Here an encoder on the motor 70 determines where the desired tube is relative to the tube aligned with the ejector and rotates the shaft, in one direction or the other, the required angular degree such that the newly desired club is aligned with the ejector, and the club raised as before.
 As a safety feature, the electric supply to the motor may be switched off when the ejector is in the raised position. Furthermore, the golf club carrier may be encased within a housing (not shown). The housing may give the golf club carrier the appearance of a traditional golf bag. The housing may include the rigid hood (not shown) such that the heads of the golf clubs are stowed beneath the rigid hood. Here the rigid hood has a single aperture, located above the ejector, through which clubs may be removed. Thus a golfer cannot access the club heads when they rotate except through the aperture. As a further feature, the aperture may be openable. For instance, and upwardly hinged door may be provided. Here, the door may be manually raised and lowered to remove and replace golf clubs. Alternatively, the door may be biased to the closed position. When the golf club is raised, the head of the golf club may abut the hinged door and push it open. Alternatively, the door may be automated. The cover may include a sensor so that power to the carrier is cut when the door is not fully closed.
 As an additional feature, the golf club carrier may include an illuminator, such as a light. The light may be turned on when the ejector is in the raised position. Thus, the ejector may not be required to raise the club out of the aperture in the cover. Rather the golfer is alerted that the correct club is ready to be removed from the carrier by the illumination of the light. In this case the carrier may not even include the ejector.
 In alternative embodiments, rather than rotating the tubes, the golf club carrier may be arranged to rotate the ejector and, where necessary, the cover. Here the ejector would be secured to the shaft 50 rather than the upper section. In yet a further embodiment, the golf club carrier includes an ejector aligned under each tube. Thus no rotation means is required. Rather, operation of a button on the user interface causes the corresponding ejector under the desired tube to raise the club.
 Since all of the embodiments require the golf club carrier to be supplied with power means, the golf club carrier may additionally be adapted to include other powered features such as a cooled chamber for storing food or drink.
 Referring to FIG. 6, a golf club carrier 220 is shown. The golf club carrier 220 includes at least 1 receptacle (222, 221) for receiving a golf club 212. A height unification means is provided. Here the height unification means comprises a removable plate 260. The removable platform 260 is removably attached to the golf club carrier and fixed relative to each receptacle (221, 222). The removable platform 260 includes an aperture aligned with each receptacle and a locating means. The aperture is sized so as to allow the shaft of the golf club to enter but to restrict a head of the golf club from passing therethrough. The locating means is provided to maintain the golf club head in position. For instance, contours are provided to restrict the golf club head from moving relative to the removable plate 260.
 Advantageously, the removable platform may be printed with advertising and may be custom designs for a particular set of clubs.
 Moreover, the height unification means allows all the club heads to be located at a common height. This allows a user to more easily identify the desired club. Furthermore, the removable platform may include visible indicators to clearly identify a specified receptacle. For instance, each receptacle may include a corresponding visual identifier such as a letter or number. Thus the golfer has a larger identifier to look for. Also, the golfer can more easily ensure that a club is inserted into the correct receptacle thereby retaining the clubs in an order, further simplifying the selection process.
 Each locating means is ideally arranged to retain the golf clubs in a pattern. It will be appreciated that in order for the height unification means to be used to enhance the earlier embodiments, the receptacles should be arranged on a circumferential path. Here the contours may be such that the golf club heads may all be arranged to face outwardly. However, it is preferable that they are arranged so that they all point towards the centre as this can increase the compactness of the golf club carrier.
 The locating means may comprises radial ridges 262 running either side of the aperture 261 which form a valley in which the club rests. Alternatively, the locating means may comprise shaped pits or hollows 264 wherein the shape of the pit or hollow accommodates the golf club. Importantly however, the changing height of the contours of the locating means relative to a plane of the removable platform are such that the golf club 212 has to move out of the receptacle in order to rotate about the receptacle's axis. Thus the contours restrict axial rotation of the golf clubs thereby preventing the possibility of clubs damaging each other. Moreover, if a club is not inserted properly into the receptacle, the movement of the golf club caused as the golf carrier 220 is moved causes the golf club to naturally settle into the correct orientation.
 Certain golf clubs are often purchased separately to the rest such as putters and drivers. As such, in order to allow the removable platform to be tailored to each individual golfer, the removable platform may be provided with an area for accepting an insert. Here, a number of inserts can be designed for each specific shape of putter. The insert having the tube aperture 261 and locating means.
 The height unification means may include height adjustment inserts. As previously mentioned, golf clubs are a variety of lengths. Thus, as shown in FIG. 8, distal ends of shorter clubs may be suspended from the bottom of each receptacle. Here the height adjustment insert comprises an insert 270 that is placed within the receptacle so that the distal ends of smaller clubs may rest on the height adjustment insert 270. This means that if a longer club is placed in the receptacle specified for a shorter club, the head will protrude above the removable plate and alert the golfer to the club being placed within the wrong receptacle.
 The height adjustment inserts may be manufactured from any suitable material. However, if the height adjustment inserts are manufactured from a material that allows the length of the inserts to be easily reduced, the inserts can further allow customisation of a golf carrier.
 In order to prevent the height adjustment inserts from falling out if the golf club carrier is tipped, a retaining means is provided. If the removable platform is positioned so that the space between a bottom of the removable platform and the ends of the receptacles is less than the height of the shortest insert, the removable platform may comprise the retaining means. Here, if the bag is tipped, the height adjustment inserts move towards the end of the receptacle under gravity. By ensuring that the aperture 261 is smaller than the receptacles the bottom of the removable platform therefore provides a stop. Alternatively, a clip such as a spring clip may be arranged about the receptacle. The spring clip having an inwardly facing pin that is arranged to protrude through a hole in the receptacle. Consequently, the pin reduces the diameter of the receptacle which prevents the height adjustment inset from moving past. The location of the aperture may be towards the top of the receptacle so that is can be easily removed to allow the height adjustment inset to be changed. When used with the previous embodiments the minimum distance that the pin location can be spaced from the bottom of the receptacle is the height of the longest height adjustment insert added to the travel of the ejector.
 As mentioned, the height unification means may be used on its own or may be used in conjunction with the golf club carrier 20 of the previous embodiments. Hence, because the height unification means allows the club heads to be arranged on a common plane, relative to the golf carrier and because the height adjustment inserts allow all the clubs to rest substantially on an insert, the ejector can have a single length travel and move the golf club heads a common height. Thus the shortest and longest clubs are able to be lifted by the same ejector and the problem of a short club, even in the lifted position, not standing above a longer club is eliminated.
 Attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with or previous to this specification in connection with this application and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference.
 All of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), and/or all of the steps of any method or process so disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive.
 Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
 The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiment(s). The invention extends to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), or to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the steps of any method or process so disclosed.
Patent applications in class Including means for separating club shafts
Patent applications in all subclasses Including means for separating club shafts