The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has granted more than 8,000 patents for golf-related inventions in the past five years. Some 1,400 of these are for clubs, nearly 1,000 are related to ball improvements, and some, like these, seem more goofy than golfy.
?Golf ball heater appliance (patent No. 6,130,411)
Your game may be ice-cold, but your balls will be toasty in this waffle-iron-like heater. Legend has it that warm balls fly farther.
?Golf ball with remotely activated sound generator (No. 6,011,466); alarm system for forgotten golf club (No. 6,040,772)
Two inventions to help you stay close to loved ones. A radio signal makes the ball chirp, no matter how deep in the woods it is; the club finder automatically alerts a golfer who strays too far from his stick.
?Lip-shaped decal for a golf putter face (No. D395,922)
So, like the pros, you can kiss the ball into the hole.
?Eared golf ball (No. D429,182)
This ball literally has ears. Why? Who knows.
?Cremation urn lid with golf emblem (No. D454,420)
For the golfer headed to the great clubhouse in the sky.