Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf, is one of the world’s leading golf equipment experts and innovators.
As a design engineer at Shakespeare Sporting Goods, in 1969 he invented the graphite shaft, a piece of technology found in the bag of nearly every golfer today.
As Technical Director of the United States Golf Association (USGA) for more than a quarter century, he issued thousands upon thousands of rulings on equipment, literally helping to write the rules that govern the implements of the game. During his years with the USGA, he developed the extensive testing procedures that measure and govern equipment. He also directed the development of today's Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN), and redesigned and introduced the Stimpmeter to quantify the speed of the greens.
Since leaving the USGA in 2000, he has devoted his efforts and passion to educating golfers about golf equipment and putting. His honest and straightforward evaluations of today's technology have reached millions of golfers through The Golf Channel, Golf Digest and his own company website www.franklygolf.com.
In his youth, seeking to explore the world, Frank set sail for the USA from his native South Africa in his 25 foot sailboat "Banshee" in 1963. His harrowing trip across the Atlantic, in which he faced several life and death situations, helped shape Frank's character and philosophy, teaching him lessons about self-reliance, adaptability, and the relative value of technology and ingenuity in the face of awesome nature.
Frank combines this lifelong experience as a designer, innovator, rules maker, educator and founder of a golf company to lend his expertise as a judge on Driver vs Driver a TV show set to air on Golf Channel in Fall 2016.
VALERIE MELVIN is the Managing Director of Frankly Golf. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Stirling and a Master's in Medical Science from the University of Glasgow. A former editor of Golf Science International (a publication of the World Scientific Congress of Golf), she has represented her native Scotland in international golf matches and continues to compete in top level amateur events.