Frank Thomas, co-founder of Frankly Golf, is one of the world’s leading golf equipment experts and innovators.
As the chief 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 of rulings on equipment, and was instrumental in rewriting or modifying all the rules that govern the implements used in the game. During his years with the USGA, he developed the extensive testing procedures that measure the performance of equipment. He also directed the development of today’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN), the Indoor Test Range (ITR) to measure golf ball aerodynamics now used industrywide, and redesigned and introduced the Stimpmeter to quantify the speed of the greens, now used worldwide.
Since leaving the USGA in 2000, he has devoted his efforts and passion to educating golfers about golf equipment and putting. Over the last fifteen years, his extensive research work related to putting, the putting stroke as well his design of the Frankly Frog putter line has resulted in Frankly Golf becoming the worldwide leader in putting instruction.
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 and his friend Malcolm set sail from their native South Africa in their 25-foot sailboat “Banshee” in 1963. During this harrowing trip around the Cape of Storms and across the Atlantic, he faced several life and death situations, helping to 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 the awesome forces of 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 Wilson Golf’s Driver vs Driver a TV show which aired on Golf Channel in Fall 2016.
I meet Frank Thomas many years ago when I published The Jersey Golfer magazine.
He was one of the most interesting interview I had the pleasure to do.