Ralph Maltby has been designing and evaluating golf equipment for more than 40 years. He is universally regarded as one of the premier golf equipment experts in the world.
Ralph began his career designing and engineering for a number of major golf equipment manufacturers. He went on to found The GolfWorks in 1976, providing clubmakers and other golf equipment experts with club components, clubmaking tools and supplies, and technical information.
Ralph created the Maltby Playability Factor club rating system, through which he has tested and rated the performance of more than 1000 golf clubs. He has published seven books, secured multiple patents and lectured at more than 250 PGA Business Schools. Ralph has released a wide range of instructional videos and is a frequent guest on The Golf Channel.
Ralph Maltby has influenced every aspect of modern clubmaking from golf club fitting to his many patented innovations in golf club design to his best selling reference books. Graduating from the University of South Florida with a marketing degree, he also studied engineering. He played golf prior to and during his college days. While attending the university he operated a club repair and custom golf shop.
Before joining Spalding as a Product Engineer in 1969, Ralph Maltby served as a wood head finishing consultant to several major golf club manufacturers. At Spalding he designed a number of new golf clubs and later became Product Manager for golf products.
In 1973 he joined Faultless Sports as Director of Marketing. There he developed and patented a number of highly innovative club designs and was promoted to Vice President of Operations with overall marketing and manufacturing responsibilities.
In 1976, Ralph founded The GolfWorks and has been manufacturing and distributing golf clubs, machines, gauges, tools, and supplies worldwide to golf club repair shops, golf professionals, manufacturers, custom clubmakers and do-it yourselfers. In 2006 Ralph sold The GolfWorks to Golf Galaxy.
He is still actively involved with golf equipment testing, further advancing golf club design technology and improving methods for fitting golf clubs to the individual. He spends most of his time in a state of the art golf club research and development studio doing this work and where he also produces educational videos on many golf club equipment related subjects.
“From innovative golf club design to the advancement of custom clubmaking to in-depth research in making the game more enjoyable, Ralph has made a huge contribution to golf, and we’re extremely proud of his induction to the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame,” says Mark McCormick, CEO of The GolfWorks.
Ralph Maltby has influenced every aspect of modern clubmaking from golf club fitting to his many patented innovations in golf club design to his best selling reference books.
Ralph Maltby began his career in golf with Spalding in 1969. In 1976, Maltby founded The GolfWorks, which has since grown to become the world’s leading source for research, development, technical services and education for custom clubmaking. With offices in Canada and the United Kingdom, The GolfWorks manufactures and distributes machines, gauges, tools and supplies worldwide. Used by golf club repair shops, golf pros, original equipment manufacturers and clubmakers, The GolfWorks’ tools and supplies have become the universal standard in performance and quality.
In addition to clubmaking machinery and supplies, Maltby has been at the forefront in the most advanced clubhead designs of the last 30 years and has served as consultant to such renowned golf equipment manufacturers as Maxfli, Powerbilt and Tommy Armour.
Earlier this year, Maltby published the results of decades-long research in his latest book on golf club design, The Maltby Playability Factor – Understanding Golf Club Dynamics, Book One: Irons. Based on decades of experience, he developed a comprehensive system to select the right iron head desigs for golfers of every playing ability, including tour professionals, and this new book translates the theory and history of iron design into a practical guide for understanding iron playability.
Ralph has also made appearances on The Golf Channel discussing golf technical information. He is a member of the GolfWriters Association of America, The Golf Collectors Society and an honorary member of the Professional Clubmakers Society. In 1991 he was listed by Golf Digest magazine as one of the 36 most powerful men in golf. In 1996 Mr.Maltby was inducted into the “Professional Clubmakers Society” Hall of Fame. Mr.Maltby was distinguished by being appointed an honorary member of the New Zealand Professional Golfers Association in 1980.
Ralph Maltby was inducted into the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame in 2005. He joined other notables such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson and Tom Weiskopf. The Ohio Golf Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made a substantial impact on golf as players, architects, tournament directors, administrators and club professionals and who have contributing in making Ohio a leader in the game.
Ralph Maltby's books have had a major inpact in the golf, clubmaking, design and club fitting industry. The first book was the definitive work called “Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration and Repair”. This 900 page hardcover book was the official reference manual of the Professional Golfers Association of America. The 2001 second edition of “The Complete Golf Club Fitting Plan” was also the official fitting book of the PGA and the principles of fitting in this work is still the bases for fitting today.
Ralph also wrote the definitive golf club repair book titled “Golf Club Repair in Pictures”. This book was used worldwide, translated into other languages, and was the definitive book on repair in its day. It is still used as a reference by professionals, manufacturers, clubmakers and club fitters. Ralph also wrote the “Golf Club Assembly Manual”, illustrating the basics of golf club assembly.
In 2005 the first edition of “The Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) for Irons” was published. This is a monumental work that was conceived, researched and developed over a twelve year period. MPF is a rating system on golf club iron playability which uses mass and dimensional properties of a clubhead and classifies that head as to how hard or easy it is to play.
Another book, published in 2008, “How Golf ClubsWork . . . & Affect Your Ability to Score”, is an expanded and updated rewrite of the original book published in 1997. The content has been increased three fold from the original and is designed to help all golfers understand their equipment better so they can play their best.
Ralphs latest book, “The Complete Book of Golf Club Fitting & Performance” is the most complete book on the subject and required over 9 years of research and writing. First published in 2011, this book is devoted to helping golfers and professionals alike understand how golf clubs and club fitting affect performance, for every golfer. This latest publication is used by the PGA of America in the education of it’s apprentices, as well as other golf education organizations around the world.
All of Ralph’s books are the number one selling books on these selected subjects and have totaled hundreds of thousands of copies sold.
I often get confused with Roger Maltbie, so here is the story for all of you who care. The problem started when Roger Maltbie (note the spelling of the last name) won the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament here in Columbus, Ohio in 1976. My first golf technical book came out in 1974 and I started my own company (The GolfWorks) in 1976. So, some people knew my name and now they knew Rogers name and the confusion started.
My wife Donna in the early years of the business ran our office and I worked out back in the plant making golf clubs. She knew all our customers and they called her with any questions they had. Well, after Roger started to settle down, he met a girl, fell in love and married her. You guessed it, her name was Donna. Roger was slightly wild in his bachelor days (left his check in a bar in Columbus after winning the Memorial) so he credited Donna (his wife) with changing his life around and putting him on the straight and narrow.
Roger and I met shortly after he won the Memorial Tournament and every time he came to Columbus, he and I and the two Donnas would go out to dinner. He has always called me “cous” (cousin) and still gets very irritated when someone in the press is interviewing him and asks him about one of my (they think it is his) books. When Roger won the World Series of Golf a few years later, I was receiving so many congratulations letters that I forwarded all of them on to him. For the record, Roger is a great guy and one of the best announcers on tour. So, now you know the rest of the story.
Besides golf, his hobbies are boating, scuba diving, auto racing and flying. He has a commercial pilot’s license and advanced ground instructor’s license in addition to being instrument rated in single and multi engine aircraft. He also holds a national competition license from the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and a professional license from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
Ralph has lectured at over 250 PGA Business Schools on Golf Club Design Principles, Golf Club Fitting and Golf Club Repair Procedures. He lectured annually at the Tour Players School with a 5 ½ hour presentation entitled “Working With Your Equipment”. He has taught basic and advanced repair and fitting workshops for the PGA, and written numerous articles for golfing publications around the world.