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.
FRANK THOMAS has spent much of his life as one of the guardians of the game of golf, and today he is making it his mission to help golfers around the world. In his 26 years as Technical Director of the United States Golf Association, he was responsible for testing and ruling on the acceptability of every new club and ball.
Since leaving the USGA in 2000, he has devoted his efforts and passion to educating consumers about golf technology and empowering them to make better decisions about equipment. His honest and straightforward evaluations of today’s technology reach millions of consumers through The Golf Channel and his own website http://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.
After arriving in the USA, Frank worked for Shakespeare Sporting Goods, where he invented the graphite shaft for golf clubs. During his years with the USGA, he developed the extensive testing procedures that measure and govern equipment today. He also directed the development of today’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN), and introduced the Stimpmeter to quantify the speed of the greens. Frank’s straightforward, honest opinions have been his trademark throughout his career. Whether battling with Jack Nicklaus over distance, researching grooves and spin with Greg Norman or sparring with Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour over on-site testing, Frank is always “frank”.