Patent application title: Enhanced Scorecard System For Golf
Woodrow L. Pelley (Oakville, CA)
Jeffery V. Hadfield (Oakville, CA)
Claudio Castricone (Oakville, CA)
George Mazzaferro (Mississauga, CA)
IPC8 Class: AA63B7106FI
Class name: Printed matter maps
Publication date: 2012-05-03
Patent application number: 20120104740
A scorecard for use when playing a game of golf, or a simulated golf game
at a practise facility, wherein the scorecard comprises a series of maps
depicting each golf hole on the course, and wherein a grid system
overlays the maps of the golf hole. The grid lines on each map for each
hole provide an indication of yardages so that the golfer can determine
strategies for playing the hole, and then record the outcome of each
shot. The same scorecard can be used in playing a simulated golf game at
a driving range which is marked with a grid system which correlates to
the grid system depicted on the scorecard.
1. A multi-purposed golf scorecard having space for recording the score
and/or performance of one or a plurality of golfers, when playing the
game of golf, and comprising: a scale map of each hole on a golf course,
a grid which is printed on each scale map for each hole for the golfer to
calculate the distance and outcome of each shot taken or to be taken, and
wherein the grid printed on each scale map for each hole is related to
the distances found on a grid system provided at a practice facility.
2. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scorecard comprises 9 or 18 scale maps representing the holes on a 9-hole or 18-hole golf course.
3. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scorecard is a sheet of paper which is adapted to be folded to provide a plurality of panels with information regarding each hole printed on separate panels.
4. A scorecard as claimed in claim 3 wherein said scorecard comprises at least 18 panels.
5. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scale map of each hole includes information on elements commonly encountered on a golf hole, namely tees, fairways, greens, bunkers, water hazards, rough, fescue, trees, bushes, and other foliage, cart paths, obstacles, and out-of-bounds
6. A scorecard as claimed in claim 5 additionally comprising information including arrows indicating the direction of slope of the greens, and topographical symbols or references to indicate the golfers distance above or below features on the course (e.g. uphill or downhill shots).
7. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein the grid is standardized so the grid square scale on the card can be related to a grid established on a driving range.
8. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said grid which is printed on each scale map provides a series of grid squares, and wherein each square of the grid equals 10 square yards.
9. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scorecard is mass produced using offset printing.
10. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein the functions of the scorecard are simulated using a computerized system.
11. A scorecard as claimed in claim 10 wherein said computerized system is a computer, a PDA, or a golf rangefinder.
12. A scorecard as claimed in claim 3 for playing an 18 hole golf course, and wherein nine holes are printed on one side said sheet of paper, and the remaining nine holes are printed on the back side of the same sheet.
13. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein the grid printed on each scale map is drawing using the same scaling.
14. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein the grid printed on each scale map is drawing using different scaling depending on the length of the golf hole.
15. A scorecard as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scorecard is personalized.
16. A scorecard as claimed in claim 15 wherein said scorecard is personalized using digital print-for-one technology.
17. A scorecard as claimed in claim 15 wherein said scorecard is personalized to provide the golfer with a desired degree of difficulty.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to the field of golf, and in particular, relates to golf scorecard which provides enhanced information to the golfer when playing a particular hole on the golf course. The enhanced scorecard may also be used to allow the golfer to play a simulated golf game, over a relatively small area, such as that found at a golf practice area or at a driving range.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Three main complaints that are currently prevalent in the golf industry are that the cost of the game has increased to a point where it is no longer an inexpensive recreational activity, that lessons, and in particular, on-course playing lessons, are too costly, and that the game takes too long to play since rounds of golf can often take up to 6 hours or more to play. This third issue impacts both the players who wish to complete a round of golf in a shorter period of time, and owners who complain of losing revenue because longer playing time reduces the number of rounds that can be played.
 A related complaint is that because of recent advances in technology, longer and longer courses are required, which require greater areas of land. This exacerbates the high cost complaint, and also, by necessity, also increases the time to play the game.
 Moreover, it is also known by the average golfer that to improve at the game, it is necessary to practice, and numerous driving ranges, or more generally, golf practice facilities, are available to golfers in order to practice the golf swing. However, commonly the player finds that hitting balls at a driving range can be boring, and the practice session may not be beneficial to the player if he is ingraining incorrect swing patterns or swing mechanics. As such, many players do not use these practise facilities to their optimum advantage.
 A further disadvantage of most golf training facilities, and driving ranges, is that the golfer is merely practising the golf swing, and is not receiving instruction on the strategies for playing the game, or receiving instructions or feedback on different approaches to play a particular hole.
 Golf teaching professionals are commonly available at a driving range, but they are typically restricted to only teaching the golf swing. There is little or no opportunity to discuss strategy with the player in a specific, real game situation.
 Numerous patents have previously been issued to inventors attempting to resolve or ameliorate some or all of these problems. Typically, they provide or involve a method to simulate a golf game while at a practice facility.
 For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,990,708 discloses a golf course wherein all drives are hit on a driving range which is provided with yardage distance markers. The player registers his estimated distance on a display board and, depending on the length of the alleged hole, the display board tells the player to either "hit again", "register yardage" or "pitch to pitching green". The player then proceeds to hit the second shot for the theoretical hole, which can be either a par 4 or a par 5, and continues hitting from the driving tee until he receives the designation "hit to designated mechanized range green".
 The mechanized range green is divided into segments or areas, each representative of a given distance from a flag stick. The areas are defined by a wire mesh material which is supported above the ground surface and intercepts the ball. The ball proceeds over a sloped portion of the mesh to a ball return conduit wherein it actuates a contact switch which indicates to the player which segment the ball is hit onto. The player then goes to an actual putting green and places his ball at the distance indicated by the approach shot which was caught by a segment of the mesh. A minimum of walking is involved, hence expediting the play. The problem with this arrangement is the monotony involved in hitting one, two or three balls from the same driving tee before hitting the ball to land on the mechanized putting green. The entire game of hitting fairway woods or long approach shots from a varying slope terrain is eliminated, and the only true golf shots are the initial drive and the putting on the actual putting green.
 A number of patents relating to golf practice areas have been developed which provide the practicing golfer with an indication of the length of his drive by trapping the ball by a net, or a transversely inclined, hard landing area which directs it into a return trough or gutter for actuation of a distance indicator and redelivery to the practice tee. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,869,642.
 In this patent, all drives, regardless of direction, end up in a gutter at the side of the fairway. Hence a ball hit to the right or left of center can register the same yardage as a ball hit down the middle. Only one playable fairway and green are provided, creating monotony rather than the challenge of eighteen different holes.
 Also know are the so-called computerized golf simulators, wherein a picture of a famous golf hole appears in front of the player and he hits the drive which is captured by a net or similar target and the distance and direction of the drive is indicated by a computer. The picture then changes to the remainder of the hole so that the player may hit a second shot (or a third shot on a par 5 hole) toward the pictured green. This apparatus is most commonly utilized indoors and provides very little exercise other than the swinging of the club.
 Driving ranges with a plurality of greens located at differing distances and directions have also been proposed. See for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,599,980.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,708,173 discloses a plurality of driving ranges with each green having 18 flags located thereon. Thus, an entire game of par 3 golf may be played from a single tee by directing the shots at the flag bearing the number of the hole being played. Actual putting of the ball is not involved.
 The concept of combining a single target green with a plurality of driving tees located at varying distances and varying angles with respect to the target tee is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,063,738. In this arrangement, the second shot is not played from its normal location but from an arbitrary fairway hitting position which represents the remaining yardage for the hole. Thus, deviations in the line of flight of the originally hit ball are not taken into account. The position of the balls on the target green are indicated by three concentric circles surrounding the pin on the target green. All putting strokes are performed at a putting green which is located behind the driving tees and has a separate pin for each hole. The game is played in sequence of first hitting all drives, then hitting all fairway shots, and the approach shots from the tee area, and then moving to the actual putting greens to complete the putting for each hole. Obviously, this procedure bears little resemblance to the normal game of golf, and has not been successful in attracting more players.
 In U.S. Pat. No. 5,265,875, a reduced area golf course is provided, which can be played at night. The course utilizes a common driving range environment for tee shots for all par 4's and 5's, and provides an adjacent golf course in which the initial 100 to 150 yards for these holes has been removed. The golfer is provided which an indication where his drive on the driving range landed, and then translates that information on the actual course. Again, the golfer is required to hit several, or all drives in succession, and therefore, the procedure does not properly simulate the normal game of golf.
 In U.S. Pat. No. 7,479,073, Pelley et al. describe a simulated golf game which is played at a driving range, and in which a series cards representing a series of golf holes is used. The cards are placed within an opaque cover, on which is printed a grid which relates to a corresponding grid on the driving range. The user uses an alignment slot on the cover to establish a target area on the card, takes a golf shot into the range area, and then relates the shot outcome to the card using the grid on the range and the opaque cover. Only after the opaque cover is removed from the card will the golfer see the final result of the shot outcome. The player then moves the card underneath the cover so as to establish a new target, and then repeats the process.
 While these prior art methods and devices have provided varying degrees of success, it would still be beneficial to provide an apparatus and method which further improves these practices, and which can be used in other golf-related activities or the like.
 It is also known within the golf community to provide score cards on which the user records their score, or the score for the players in their group. Some cards also feature drawings of the various holes to be played, and can provide some limited amount of information regarding the hole to be played. Additionally, the cards can contain advertising materials to help offset the price of producing the cards.
 Still further, yardage books are also known in which a more detailed description of a golf hole is provided; usually with a more detailed drawing of the hole included.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Accordingly, it is a principal advantage of the present invention to provide a realistic golf game simulation that can be played at a driving range, or some other golf practice facility.
 It is a further advantage of the present invention to provide a golf game simulation that is closely linked or related to an actual golf hole, and which can be used in an actual golf game, or in a simulated golf situation.
 The advantages set out hereinabove, as well as other objects and goals inherent thereto, are at least partially or fully provided by the simulated golf game apparatus of the present invention, as set out herein below.
 In a first aspect, the present invention provides an enhanced golf scorecard which also provides a training aid for use at a driving range, or other suitable practise facility.
 As such, the enhanced golf scorecard of the present invention is multi-purposed in that it:
 provides golfers with a simple tool to help them quickly navigate around a golf course through quick and accurate shot targeting;
 provides a record of the result of each shot taken for later reference;
 records all required information used to determine a golfer's handicap; and
 can be used to emulate course play, in a driving range environment.
 In a most preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the enhanced golf scorecard comprises a golf scorecard having space for recording the score and/or performance of one or a plurality of golfers, when playing the game of golf;
 a scale map of each hole on a golf course, with preferably 9 or 18 scale maps representing 9-hole or 18-hole golf courses (or any other such number of holes that might apply);
 a grid which is printed on each scale map for each hole for the golfer to calculate the distance and outcome of each shot taken or to be taken (where preferably each square of the grid equals a standardized area, such as 10 square yards), and wherein the grid printed on each scale map for each hole is related to the distances found on a grid system provided at a practice facility.
 In use on a golf course, the grid lines allow the golfer to determine the distances required for determining yardages, and for developing strategy for playing the particular golf hole. For example, by drawing a line with a pencil from one grid to another, the golfer can represent the target line and distance of a planned golf shot, and the golfer can then choose the appropriate golf club accordingly. This will assist the golfer to quickly determine the target line and club selection to help increase speed of play.
 Golfers can also review all of the scale maps on a scorecard prior to commencing play to pre-plan their course strategy. This will facilitate club selection and strategy prior to play, and thus eliminate the time normally spent making these decisions during a game further reducing the time needed to play the game.
 After a shot is taken the golfer can go to the ball and then record where the ball lands relative to the target line set previously. This provides the golfer with feedback on the accuracy of each shot taken. This information can be used for later reference such as to determine the average distance of each club used, shot tendencies such as left or right of target, which the golfer can use for training purposes later.
 Later, the card can also be used to emulate golf game play in a driving range setting by relating the grid on the scale map for each hole, to the grid provided on the driving range.
 Using the card to determine the length of a target line, the golfer can estimate where a shot taken at a driving range lands relative to the target line marked on the card, by comparing the shot result to the target and grid provided on the driving range. The golfer then places a pencil mark on the hole map to indicate where the ball landed relative to the target line. This mark represents the lie for the next shot. The golfer can then mark another target line, shoot and record where the ball lands relative to the new target line by again comparing the result observed on the driving range shot compared to the target line and distance. These steps are repeated until the golfer completes the hole.
 When done at a driving range, in the presence of a golf instructor, the golfer can practise all shots that would normally be taken at a regular sized course, but in much less time. This enables the golfer to receive "on-course" training from an instructor, at a reduced cost over on-course lessons at a regular course.
 While the scorecard of the present invention can be any suitably sized shape or size, preferably the scorecard is a sheet of paper--typically 81/2×11 inches or 9×12 inches--which is preferably adapted to be folded to produce a plurality of panels, with information about each hole being printed on a separate panel. Preferably, for an 18 hole golf course, the scorecard contains at least 18 different panels, and more preferably, at least 20 panels of equal dimension, with the top panel being for information about the golf course represented on the scale maps, panels 2-19 being the 18 scale maps, and panel 20 being the location where up to four golfers can mark their scores for each hole played. Each panel 2-19 contains a scale map of a golf hole. The sheet of paper is preferably folded in such a fashion that it enables the golfer to switch from panel to panel representing chronological play from hole 1 through 18. For example, the first panel can represent the first hole of the golf course, and when the hole has been played, the panel can be folded back revealing the next hole panel.
 Typically, the folded sheet will ultimately create a folded scorecard having sufficient thickness so that the paper will not bend excessively when it is being marked.
 In a preferred exemplary example, the folded sheet is approximately 1/20th of the size of the full scorecard sheet (for example, each panel is about 5-6 inches by 1-2 inches) which enables it to fit comfortably in a shirt or pant pocket. This portability feature enables the golfer quick and easy access to the card during game play. It can also fit neatly into golf cart clips for ease of use.
 Preferably, the scale maps of each hole are full colour illustrations including any or all of the following elements commonly encountered on golf holes, namely, tees, fairways, greens, bunkers, water hazards, rough, fescue, trees, bushes, and other foliage, cart paths, obstacles, out-of-bounds, and can also include arrows indicating the direction of slope of the greens, and topographical symbols or references to indicate the golfers distance above or below features on the course (e.g. uphill or downhill shots).
 On each scale map, the illustrations additionally feature grid lines. Preferably, the grid lines represent a set distance, such as, for example, each grid square representing 10 square yards. The size of the grid square can change but it is preferred that the grid square be standardized so that the grid square scale on the card can be related to a grid established on a driving range.
 The scorecard can also include features such as providing an indication of recommended landing areas, which are identified using shading to identify the shots suggested by a professional golfer or golf instructor. Additionally, the scorecard of the present invention can also provide distance indicators such as distances to the pin for front, middle and back tees, and preferably, the scorecard also includes indicators of yardages such as 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 yard marker lines, depending on hole length, which are displayed on each hole to provide the golfer with the overall size and distance of the full hole to be used to determine the shooting strategy required to complete the hole.
 Optional features can include the recommended play time for each hole, the "par" score for each hole, and/or descriptive text to provide the golfer with additional information to help determine course strategy.
 On the top panel, space may be provided to enter information such as the golfer's Tee-off time to start play, an indication of whether the golfer will begin play on the front nine and the back nine, as well as the time when the game should be completed. Further, blank spaces may be included on panels, and/or additional panels may be added to the sheet, which may be used to provide optional information. Additionally, separate scorecard panels may be used for the front nine and back nine on which the golfer can record up to four players' scores on each hole and other playing information such as greens-in-regulation, number of putts per hole, distance of each drive, and the like, and which can also include miscellaneous course information such as total hole lengths, slope, handicaps and pars.
 Instructions can also be added to provide the golfer with guidance on how to practice each hole at a driving range (where facilities exist), and these may be printed on an optional panel, or panels.
 By using the scorecard of the present invention, the golfer records a complete record of each shot taken during the round.
 An advantage of the scorecard of the present invention, is that it can be personalized. Moreover, it can be personalized using digital print-for-one technology or it can be mass produced using offset printing.
 The golfer can use the scorecard of the present invention while playing a round of golf at a particular golf course. However, by relating the grid on the scorecard map to the grid provided at a driving range or other practise facility, the golfer can "play" a simulated round of golf using the same golf scorecard. Further, the golfer can also use scorecards from other courses in order to provide a variety of simulated courses that can all be "played" at the driving range facility.
 Still further, by using the scorecard of the present invention after its use on an actual golf course, the user can compare their performance on the driving range to that observed on the driving range.
 Thus, the present invention, in its preferred embodiment, allows the golfer to use the scorecard of the present invention to assist in playing a round of golf, and also allows the golfer to use the same scorecard to play a simulated golf game at a driving range or other practise facility.
 The scorecard of the present invention therefore provides the golfer with additional information when playing a round of golf, or a simulated round of golf, so that the golfer can utilize various strategies to determine the optimal shot to be played. Once the optimal shot is determined, the golfer plays that shot from the course, or in the driving range area, to the target, and then using the grid, evaluates the outcome of the shot.
 As such, in one option, the player is able to closely simulate an actual golf game within a localized area at a golf practice or driving range facility.
 The scorecard of the present invention is preferably printed onto a sheet or card of paper. However, the functions of scorecard can also be simulated using a computerized system such as a computer, a PDA, golf rangefinders, or the like.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Embodiments of this invention will now be described by way of example only in association with the accompanying drawings in which:
 FIG. 1 is a view of a scorecard of the present invention; and
 FIG. 2 is an overhead plan view of one embodiment of a driving range which can be used in practice of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the present invention, as to its structure, organization, use and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example only. In the drawings, like reference numerals depict like elements.
 It is expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.
 Referring to FIG. 1, the front of one embodiment of the scorecard 100 of the present invention is shown comprising 10 separate panels. A first panel 10 provides space for 4 golfer to record their scores on the first nine holes of the golf course, in a manner similar to prior art scorecards. Panels 101 to 109 respectively provide scaled and detailed maps of holes 1 through 9 for that nine holes of the course. Over each map, a grid 12 is provided. Each adjacent line on grid 12 represents a distance of 10 yards.
 While any suitable arrangement of maps can be used, in FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment is shown wherein the front nine holes are printed on one side of the sheet of paper, and the back nine (with a further score keeping panel), can be printed on the back side of the same sheet. The golfer is thus provided with a scorecard having a total of 18 maps representing the 18 holes on the course, and each hole is provided with a grid overlay to show distances.
 It will be clear to the skilled artisan that any suitable material for scorecard 100 might be used, including paper, cardboard, plastic and the like. Further, while 18 holes represents a standard round of golf, the number of maps on scorecard 100 can be changed to any suitable value, such as 9, 18, 27 or 36 cards, or any other suitable number whether or not related to the standard golf game.
 In use, the scorecard is preferably folded along lines 20 and 21 so that only the map for the hole being played is shown. The golfer uses the grid to establish strategy to play the hole, as well as to optionally record distances hit, and the like. After the golfer finishes playing a hole, the scorecard is re-folded to reveal the next hole to be played. This is repeated until all holes have been played.
 Grid 12 also relates to a grid system 212 provided at a suitably marked driving range 200, as shown in FIG. 2, wherein a representation of a simple driving range 200 embodiment is shown, and includes 4 "bays" 202 for use by the players, at one end of range 200. A grid 212 is provided on the surface of the range 200. The lines in grid 12 on scorecard 100 are directly related to the lines in grid 212 shown in the driving range depicted in the figure. Targets 206 are provided for the players to use as their target points when playing the simulated game. Behind range 200 is an optional putting green 208 which is used by the player to putt out on each simulated hole.
 Driving range 200 is preferably of a length where the golfer would be able to execute the longest shot normally taken during the round. A driving range length of at least 300 yards is preferred, and vertical and horizontal yardage markers can be provided on the driving range, in addition to the grid markings for grid 212.
 It is to be understood that the pictorial representation of the golf hole on card 100, and the driving range grid 212 will all be scaled so as to correlate to one another. In one embodiment, as shown on card 100, the maps on card 100 are all drawn using the same scaling. In this case, the pictorial representation of a long par 5 hole, may cover essentially all of the panel, while the pictorial representation of a par 3 hole, may only cover a third of the card, or less. However, the map scale can also be varied from hole to hole, so that each hole map will fill its respective panel, and the spacing of the lines in the grid can be varied accordingly.
 The scale selected, however, must be such that the entire hole can be fitted into a given panel. As such, when a set, common scale is used for all holes, the maps are scaled so as to preferably cover the entire card for the longest hole. As such, each panel would be capable of showing a hole having a length of at least 500 yards or more. Further, the width of each panel must also be capable of covering the width of the hole that is being played. As such, the panel width for each hole preferably represents a distance of 100 yards, for a selected scaling ratio, and more preferably, a distance of 200 yards.
 When the scale is adjusted to be different for each hole, the scale is preferably selected so that each map essentially fills of the panel.
 Scorecard 100 can also be modified so that the golfer can select the desired degree of difficulty. For example, a better player may use scorecards which show longer holes, or the like. This may be part of using a personalized scorecard.
 In use, at the driving range, the golfer would select a target line on scorecard 100. While aiming at a target 206, the golfer would execute a shot with the desired golf club, and evaluate the outcome of the shot (eg. 150 yards and 10 yards right of the target), by using the grid 212 on the range. The golfer would then transfer this outcome to the map for the hole being played on scorecard 100, in order to determine where the ball was now positioned. Once the new position was established, the golfer would determine a new strategy for playing the next shot, and would execute that shot on the driving range.
 Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided, in accordance with the present invention, a golf game, and golf practice facility which fully satisfies the goals, objects, and advantages set forth hereinbefore. Therefore, having described specific embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that alternatives, modifications and variations thereof may be suggested to those skilled in the art, and that it is intended that the present specification embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the scope of the appended claims.
 Additionally, for clarity and unless otherwise stated, the word "comprise" and variations of the word such as "comprising" and "comprises", when used in the description and claims of the present specification, is not intended to exclude other additives, components, integers or steps.
 Moreover, the words "substantially" or "essentially", when used with an adjective or adverb is intended to enhance the scope of the particular characteristic; e.g., substantially planar is intended to mean planar, nearly planar and/or exhibiting characteristics associated with a planar element.
 Further, use of the terms "he", "him", or "his", is not intended to be specifically directed to persons of the masculine gender, and could easily be read as "she", "her", or "hers", respectively.
 Also, while this discussion has addressed prior art known to the inventor, it is not an admission that all art discussed is citable against the present application.