Author Topic: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....  (Read 28745 times)

JimmyGalls

Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« on: March 05, 2009, 09:10:31 AM »
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 06:16:12 PM by JelUltra »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 09:21:44 AM »
Before getting into the various head styles/shapes the T.P. Mills Company has made or currently offers.... I'll start with some easier items like hosel styles and finishes.

There are 4 basic hosel shapes that have been offered by the T.P. Mills Company.  Until recently all hosels (not including Spalding or Mizuno putters) are welded and bent to shape.  The welds can either be left rough or can be finished.  Visible welds are more of a current fad and Truett would have believed welds left like this weren't finished.  The hosels are welded by using a TIG weld and bent to shape.    One thing to note is that when a "T" is stamped in the cavity of the putter, this does not represent "Tour", instead it notes the TIG weld.

They are:
- Pencil shaft hosel (identifiable by the use if a ferrule)
- Round hosel
- Hybrid hosel (identifiable by the flat sides)
- Plumbers neck, until recently these necks were also welded.  However, the "1310" line has been introduced which is a one-piece plumbers neck design.

Here are some pictures to show the different neck designs:
#1 - Pencil shaft hosel
#2 - Round hosel
#3 - Hybrid hosel
#4 - Welded plumber neck
#5 - One piece plumber neck
#6 - The different hosels can obviously come in a variety of lengths and shapes.  Here is a crazy "goose" neck using a round hosel. 

Another very sought after neck is the "Handbent Plumber Neck".  See an example of this neck in the "Pepi" section...third picture.


« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 02:22:32 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 09:43:29 AM »
There are 8 basic finishes that have been done on T.P. Mills putters.  They are:
- Black oxide
- Oil can (gloss or bead blasted)
- MUD (combination of black oxide and oil can)
- Saphire Blue
- Satin nickel plating
- Stainless steel putters are shiney or bead blasted.
- Copper plate (done recently on 3 putters)
- Centurion Bronze for stainless putters (done on 2009 PGA Show garage putters)

There are variations of these finishes.  The finishes can be glossy, bead blasted to a dull finish (also called a satin finish), or a combination of both.  You'll also see putters that have hues of a couple of the finishes.  For example... many oil can T.P. Mills putters will also have hues of the Saphire Blue.

Here are some pictures to help:
#1 - Glossy black oxide
#2 - Bead blasted black oxide
#3 - Combination of glossy and bead blasted black oxide. This is the same putter as #2, notice difference in the sole.
#4 - Oil Can glossy
#5 - Oil Can bead blasted
#6 - Oil Can with saphire blue hues

« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 11:54:23 AM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 09:57:15 AM »
Finishes continued...

#1 - Saphire Blue
#2 - Satin nickel plating (done on carbon)
#3 - SS shiney
#4 - SS bead blasted
#5 - Copper plated
#6 - Centurion bronze





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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 09:58:29 AM »
Finishes continued...

Picture #1 - And finallly the new "MUD" finish which is a combination of a black oxide and oil can.


Maintenance...

Stainless steel putters are practically maintenance free.  Even those who prefer carbon putters will have a stainless steel putter to use when greens are heavily fertilized as an example.

All finishes on a carbon head will require maintenance, some more then others.  This is true with all putter companies.  David has said many times that the black oxide he applies is more durable than others that are in the market place and I would agree with that statement.  Many 30+ year old putters have surfaced and the finish is perfect.  It's all in the way you keep up with it.  If you don't take care of it, it will have issues, but it is also like any other club in your bag.... use it and it will show wear.  Rust is not a sign of wear though, it is a sign that something was not done to prevent it.

Some tips:

The headcover you use should have some oil in it, so that the putter head gets coated each time you remove or put on the cover.

That doesn't mean you have to pour a can of Pennzoil into a headcover.  Use some light sewing machine oil or "3n1 oil".  That is exactly what we use in the shop.  If you do get caught in the rain and don't have oil in the headcover, don't put the putter in the headcover after your round.  Dry the putter head off and store in a dry place.

Here is a thread about general putter maintenance:

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,4596.msg138802/boardseen.html#new


There are also those whom don't mind a "bit" of rust.  Picture #2 is a picture of a putter that belongs to David Mills.  He doesn't appear to be to worried about rust/maintenance  :laugh:.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 03:28:00 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 10:11:19 AM »
Now to comment briefly on stampings....

The faces on T.P. Mills putters will normally have "T.P. Mills" or "T.P. Mills Co." on the heel of the face.  There are obviously different variations of how this is done.  Traditionally it was just done as T.P. over the Mills (see picture below).  A putter will occasionally be done with "TPM" or "DAVID MILLS" on the heel and some collectors seek out these putters. 

The center of the face will normally have the trademark Crosshairs logo marking the balance point and sweet spot of the putter.  Obviously there are many which this is left off of, but rest assured the putter's sweet spot and balance point is still in the center of the putter.  I'll comment on this later.  You will also occasionally see what is referred to as "Pate Dots" on the face of the putter.  The story goes.....Jerry Pate asked for something unique on his putter, and it was suggested to put the grid of dots on the face.  They became known locally within the shop as 'Pate dots' and the name just spread from that point.  They did not originate with Jerry, but his request apparently gave the pattern a designation.  Here's a great thread showing off different variations of these dots:

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,1432.0.html


Due to the history of making custom putters for individuals, many T.P. Mills putters (especially those made by Truett) will have initials on the toe.  Many collectors don't feel this hurts the value of the putter, because they understand the nature/history of the Company.  You will also see sunrises and other stamps out on the toe of the putter from time to time.

This is an excellent thread put together by Putter Club members of this site showing off stampings done by the TPM Co. in the past.  Stampings are always being created/revised.

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,8567.0.html

Some of the most common stampings are:
- Sunrise
- Anvil
- "HAND MADE" stamp
- "By" stamp
- "David" stamp
- "Mills" stamp
- Smiley face
- The "Let's Play" character (stick figure)

Also, an E stamped on the sole or in the cavity of the putter represents the putter was made/distributed to Europe.  Not all of these putters will have an E, but now you know what it means if you see one.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 07:56:21 AM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 10:21:15 AM »
As noted in the post above, T.P. Mills putter heads are perfectly balanced.  The balance point and sweet spot of the head is the center of the putter.  This spot is often noted by the crosshairs logo on the face. 

Here's a few pictures showing just what I mean.
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2009, 10:47:54 AM »
Now grips...

Obvously over the long history of the T.P. Mills Company a variety of grips have been offered.  The most sought after grip is a Lamkin leather slip on grip with T.P. Mills and Handmade in gold (see the first 2 pictures below).  If you find an older handmade with this grip in good condition...then BONUS!!!  The majority of handmade T.P. Mills were ordered to use, so finding these grips in excellent condition can be difficult.

Some other hard to find grips are:
   Picture #3 - Lamkin leather slip on Spalding grip
   Picture #4 - Lamkin crossline

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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 10:51:50 AM »
Grips continued...

The current line up of grips are as follows:
#1 - Golf Pride designed by David Mills
#2 - "Let's Play" VRAD grip w/ Mini characters
#3 - "Let's Play" VRAD grip w/ Large characters
#4 - Gripmaster leather grips (like the sea snake below)
#5 - Golf Pride 'Tour Tradition' w/ laser engraved T.P. Mills (pistol style)

Looking to replace your grip?  Inventory is kept on www.tpmillsputters.com or contact Jay or Jim.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 01:53:39 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 11:04:36 AM »
There are many choices for alignment aids on T.P. Mills putters, but by far the most common is the trademarked "Oval" on the putter's topline.  This oval was to show the user where the sweet spot of the putter was at address and where to strike the ball.

Above you'll see putters with ovals (even one with a larger Oval) and single lines, but here are some other examples so you can see the variety:

« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 01:44:02 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 12:14:27 PM »
The "One" is the obvious place to start talking about the specific putter models of the T.P. Mills Company.  The One is where it all started and is the most common model.  However it can also be the most confusing because of he seemingly endless variations that have been done over the years.  Handmades are really like fingerprints in that you can't find two that are 100% identical.  So as most of the older handmades are Ones, there are many variations.

Many other putter companies have produced their own variations of the T.P. Mills One, including but far from limited to the Scotty Cameron Coronado & Circa #1, Taylor Made Rossa Imola, Bettinard BEM, Byron Bombora, Ping Redwood ZB, etc etc,

After much thought, I think the best way to show these variations is to use pictures that show general shape/feature changes.

To be continued...
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 09:38:42 PM by JelUltra »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2009, 01:59:37 PM »
Place holder for more about the One.
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 01:59:54 PM »
Klassic
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 02:00:06 PM »
The #12. 

Best described by Jay Green with the line...."Try as a few have to duplicate its grace, they just can't do it."

The #12 is a very unique looking putter and is highly collectible in a handmade.  They are milled from a high carbon content one piece forging.  You mill the pockets very thin and get one of the greatest sounds when you hit the center of the putter face.

It is difficult to control the weight of those heads though, so if you are looking for a 350 gram head, it is nearly impossible to get one that heavy.  Most of the heads weigh in at 330 grams or right at D3 at 35 inches.

Many handmade collectors think that a #12 is an absolute must and I personally 100% agree.  The unique design is exquisite in person and each will be different as they're handmade.  Here are some beautiful examples:

Pictures #1 & #2.  The #12 with the shorter round neck was made by Truett.  The pencil shafted #12 was made by David.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 02:43:05 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 02:08:02 PM »
The Softtail is a modern day staple of the T.P. Mills Company and might be the most popular model today.  It's easily recognizable by the upward sloping of the toe. 



David Toms uses a Softtail on and off...here's a thread about him using it at the US Open:

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,7055.0.html



The Softtail has been done in both stainless steel and carbon, in all finishes, all necks, etc. 

Below are some pictures, but also check out this thread of putters that members own/owned.

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,8085.0.html


A couple of different version of the softtail have been created. These include a wide "Tuscaloosa Softtail" (Picture #4) featuring a wider body and the "Mini" softtail (Pictures #5 & #6) which was wider and more compact.  Both of these were done in a very limited quantity.


The Softtail has also been included in the "1310" lineup that was introduced in late 2008.  The "1310" lineup will discussed later in its own section.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 03:53:22 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 02:20:41 PM »
In 2008, the Softtail and Mini Softtail was revised into the "Pepi" model.  The model is named after Pepi, who is a member of this website and the owner of most likely the finest putter collection in the world.

Although it looks very similar to the Mini, David changed the pocket and some other things to make the weight more reasonable.  Here are some fine examples of this very special and limited model.
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2009, 02:25:30 PM »
Tradition...
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 03:53:52 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2009, 03:54:06 PM »
The Tradition 2...

The Tradition 2 (aka...Trad 2) was originally called the TPM XX when it was introduced in August, 2007.  The Trad 2 is an Anser style head with higher and more rounded bumpers then it's predecessor, the Tradition. 

In September of 2007 a first run of these Tradition 2's were done.  The "Custom 24" were stamped numerically and featured Pate Dots (see stamping section), leather wrap grips, a special headcover, etc.

Over the past year and a half, Tradition 2's have been done in carbon and stainless and with nearly all the finishes and neck styles and locations.  It was also introduced to the production line.

At the end of 2008 the Trad 2 became part of the new "1310" line which will be discussed later on.


Below are some pictures of the putters mentioned.  If you look back through the thread you will find a bunch more Trad 2 examples.


#1 - One of the first Trad 2's done and was the putter that was used in the first TPM XX Announcement.  The bumpers are larger on this prototype.
#2 - 17/24 of the First "Custom 24"
#3 - Another shot of 17/24
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 11:52:13 AM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2009, 03:54:22 PM »
The Fleetwood...

As the story goes, in 2004 Jay Green had a putter design in mind and was looking to have someone make it.  After contacting several people, he began talking to David Mills about the custom.  Jay sent him the design and he modified it...they then exchanged ideas back and forth and finally the Fleetwood was created!  The first picture below is the first Fleetwood that was ever made (Jay's).  Not only did this new relationship spark the Fleetwood model, but it also lead to Jay's involvement in the Company.

To be honest the Fleetwood in the early days was either loved or hated.  Some really enjoyed the really square design, but many preferred a more rounded look (see Boxwood below).  The Fleetwood was made in both carbon and stainless, in a variety of finishes, all different necks styles, etc.

In 2008, a new mallet was created and being revised (Huey..see below), but at the same time there was a resurgence of the Fleetwood.  Those involved in the resurgence were effectionately called "Woodheads" and headcovers and shirts were created for them to display their love!  :laugh:  The first cover was a woodie wagon themed cover with a "Get on the Woodie Wagon" theme...

In 2009, a new version of Fleetwood has been introduced called the "Hi-Toe Fleetwood".  This new version can be identified by the upward sloping of the toe.

In addition to the pictures below.  Here is a thread where are members have displayed their Fleetwoods:

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,8087.0.html




#1 - First Fleetwood
#2 - Hi-Toe Fleetwood
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 04:37:57 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2009, 03:54:35 PM »
A Boxwood is simply a Fleetwood that has been shaped/rounded.  These were done in extremely limited quantities and rarely turn up.  A few of our members have them. 

A lot of people ask why they are called a Boxwood when they're less boxy then a Fleetwood.  The Answer???

Boxwoods are Plants, a perennial, that most people shape into a round ball!!!


You'll notice in the examples below that the flanges very in size/shape.  This is because each was "hand" shaped from their original Fleetwood form.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 04:10:56 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 03:54:51 PM »
The Huey...


A mallet putter called the "Huey" (Hueytown, Alabama) was first introduced with 12 prototypes (picture #1) for the 2008 PGA Show.  Over the 3 months following the PGA the mallet was revised and released in a new prototype (Picture #2) and given the name Huey officially.  The new mallet is a nice blend of the Fleetwood and a Mizuno T.P. Mills IV.  If you're looking for a new mallet and the squareness of the Fleetwood doesn't fit your eye, then the Huey might just be what you're looking for.

During 2008 the Huey was done in both carbon and stainless w/ various hosel setups (heel shafted, mid shafted, plumber, round, hybrid).  Putters were done in lower weights for out on tour, customs were also done and even a production model was made. 

Here is a thread containing a Huey with a plumber neck made for Jim Furyk:
http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,6300.0.html



Below are some pictures.
Picture #1 - One of the initial protos for PGA Show
Picture #2 - Subsequent prototype, first release as the "Huey"
Picture #3 - Tour weight Huey, in this case that very small T represents "Tour Weight", normally a T represents the TIG weld.
Pictures #4, #5 - Random pictures

« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 08:34:04 AM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2009, 12:52:35 PM »
The 1310 line up...

The first model of the 1310 line up was introduced in the 3rd quarter of 2008.  As mentioned previously, all non-Mizuno and non-Spalding T.P. Mills putters feature necks that are TIG welded on to the head.  The 1310 line up is the Company's first One-Piece Plumber Neck design milled from 1030 carbon forgings.  Pictures below show one these forgnings look like after they're pounded (forged) into that shape.  The forgning is then milled down into the final putter shape.  One interesting design note to these is that the inside of the plumber's neck is flush with the face instead of being set back away from the face like the majority of other company designs.  The 1310 line up will help meet the demand for plumber neck putters, but their faster production times will also help meet the large demand for T.P. Mills putters in general.

The 1310 name is derived from the address of the T.P. Mills Shop... 1310 Forest Oaks Lane, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  To help introduce this name a special headcover was created called the "Road Sign" headcover.  See pictures below.

The first model in the 1310 line was the 1310 Tradition.  As mentioned previously the Tradition is an Anser 2 style head with its flat bumpers.  The first run of these Traditions were sold as the "First 50" and featured a special Road Sign head cover (w/ an Oval 50) and embossed crosshairs Gripmaster Kangaroo leather grip.  See picture below.  Side note:  If you ever hear of a putter referred to as the 1309.5... David made 7 putters that weren't quite the final 1310 design and therefore were sold under the 1309.5 designation. 

The second model introduced in 2008 was the Tradition 2.  As mentioned above the Tradition 2 features higher and rounder bumpers.

The 1310 line was then expanded to the Klassic and Softtail, which were officially debuted at the 2009 PGA Show.

In February, 2009 the first 1310 One was presented.  These 1310 Ones in their raw state are about 365g which allows David to be creative in the width and shape of the flange when he "hand" finishes the putter.

The 1310 line up will continue to be expanded.



Pictures:
#1-#3 - Display the forging and raw milled head.
#4-#6 - Road sign headcover, giving the "1310" meaning.
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2009, 01:01:37 PM »
1310 Continued....

Pictures #1, #2 - The "First 50" 1310 Tradition
Pictures #3, #4 - The 1309.5 Tradition
Picture #5 - One of the first 1310 Trad 2's.  This came out of the tour bag at the Player's Championship
Picture #6 - 1310 Klassic made for the 2009 PGA Show and featuring the MUD finish also debuted at the Show.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 01:07:29 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2009, 01:14:41 PM »
1310 Continued...

Picture #1 - 1310 Softtail made for the 2009 PGA Show for its official debut, featuring the MUD finish.
Picture #2 - The first 1310 One made.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 02:16:43 PM by JimmyGalls »
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JimmyGalls

Re: Newbie to the T.P. Mills world? Check this thread out....
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2009, 01:15:15 PM »
Place holder for more on the 1310 with future models...  :w00t:
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