Frank Thomas, a name synonymous with golf equipment and one of the men most involved in writing the rules that set the boundaries for today’s golf equipment, is setting the record straight in his new book, From Sticks and Stones, a comprehensive history and analysis of golf’s equipment regulations and their effects on the game.
Written by Thomas with Valerie Melvin, From Sticks and Stones dissects all the equipment-related provisions in the Rules of Golf, and explains why they were written, what they were meant to achieve and evaluates their relevance today. It’s a terrific read for anyone interested in golf equipment design and its impact (fact or fiction) on the game today, and the machinations of the golf’s governing bodies – the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the U.S. Golf Association.
As the technical d
irector of the USGA for more than 25 years (and inventor of the graphite shaft) before resigning in 2000, Thomas conducted or oversaw the testing of every technological advancement in golf balls, club heads, shafts, grips and accessories during the most active and turbulent time in the history of golf.
While the rules he helped create were intended to ensure that the skill of the golfer determined his results, and not the quality of his equipment, the outspoken Thomas says the results varied. Sometimes they worked. Sometimes they didn’t. And sometimes they didn’t matter.
“The object of this book,” writes Thomas, “is to provide a written document of how, why and when equipment had been regulated and to consider the effect of these regulations.”
“Frank Thomas has written the definitive book on the evolution of equipment as it pertains to the Rules of Golf,” said Wally Uihlein, Chairman and CEO, Acushnet Company (Titleist, FootJoy). “As the Technical Director of the United States Golf Association for more than a quarter century, Thomas was at the forefront of the decision-making process by the game’s ruling bodies during the most active and critical periods in the history of golf. He always kept the best intentions of the game top of mind and provided a voice of reason, often in the face of criticism. From Sticks and Stones is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the game and how golf equipment has evolved over the past century.”
From Sticks and Stones can be purchased for $24.95 shipping and handling directly through Thomas’ website at: http://www.franklygolf.com/fromsticksandstones.aspx.