Global Edition

‘From Sticks and Stones’ – an essential read for all golf enthusiasts

8.02am 27th May 2011 - Media

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 Frank 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.

As the Technical Director of the United States Golf Association for more than 25 years before resigning in 2000, Thomas conducted or oversaw the testing of every technological advancement in golf balls, clubheads, 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, Thomas says the results varied. Sometimes they worked. Sometimes they didn’t. And sometimes they didn’t matter

In From Sticks and Stones, Thomas and Melvin give the reader an inside look at how golf’s governing bodies – the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the U.S.G.A. – have dealt with equipment innovation and the Rules of Golf from the first mention of “Form and Make of Golf Clubs” in 1908 to the ultra-sophisticated calibrations of today.

“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, manufacturer of the Titleist and FootJoy golf brands. “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 is available now and can be purchased for US$24.95 plus shipping and handling directly through Thomas’ website at the following link:

The book can be shipped to the UK and all other parts of the world by United States Postal Service for US $13.95 (to UK).  Shipping takes 7-10 days.

It can be ordered on

For convenience, for UK customers the writers have a UK phone number which is 0141.416.0100.(this transfers them to the office in the US). Office hours are 2pm-10pm UK time.

The Authors

Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is making it his mission to help golfers around the world. Since leaving the USGA in 2000, he has devoted his energy and passion to educating consumers about golf technology and empowering them to make better equipment decisions. His honest and straightforward commentaries reach millions of consumers through his Web site,

Valerie Melvin is a co-founder of Frankly Golf and Frankly Academies, the worldwide leader in putting instruction. A former editor of Golf Science International, she has represented her native Scotland in international golf, and was the driving force behind the development of Frankly Academies Certified Putting Instructor online course, endorsed by Professional Golfers Associations around the world.

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