PGA Show: Q&A With David Mills

I posted a thread in our Community earlier today, asking for members to give me questions to ask David Mills tonight at dinner. Below are some answers to a bunch of real good questions.

Q: How would you describe the changes made to the new softtail and mallet heads compared to previous models?

A: The new Soft Tail is a little longer. Not much, but just a little more refined. The new updated Fleetwood isn’t 100% yet. I’m working on making it a little longer, so when I get it right, you’ll see it.

Q: How come you don’t offer a sound slot on any of your putters?

A: Honestly, we’ve never had a putter that would benefit from one. The Mills company has a long tradition of making the best handmade putters in since the early 1960s. Cutting a sound slot into a handmade doesn’t make any sense, so we never really put it in our “bag of tricks.” I’d like to put them in putters down the line, because that’s what people want…but that really isn’t a focus of ours now.

Q: There’s some speculation that you’re looking into producing a “one-piece” design.  When do you think this may become a reality?

A: We’re hoping to have it out by spring. We wanted to get the rest of the putter right first.

Q: What has kept you or are you planning in offering an Anser style head like many other makers?

A: I’ve been working on it for a while. It just wasn’t right yet. I’ll tell you what though, this new Tradition II is the best one out there.

Q: The Trad II design turned out great, IMO.  It is something of a departure for TP Mills, though.  Can you talk a little about the design and manufacturing process on this model, particularly the plumber’s neck model? 

A: Plumbers necks are tough because there are really a lot of angles involved. I’m used to working on goose necks, and those are very soft. When I looked down at a plumbers neck, there was always a lot going on. I wanted to make all that disappear as much as possible. That took a while, but I think I nailed it.

Q: David I’ve heard you can play golf either left or right handed..  Why not make few more lefty  putters?

A: With the exception of the plumber neck, I CAN make anything in a lefty that I make a righty of. I don’t get a lot of demand for it, but It is do-able. Now that I’ve said that, I need to start making a few for the left handed players so they believe me. I’ve been playing lefty for a couple of years now. You wouldn’t believe the putter I play with if I showed it to you. (Mr. Doug: I’m working on getting a picture of it!)

Q: Do you have any plans/desire to sign with an OEM?

A: Sure, everyone would want that. I’m doing everything on my own now, and that gives me a lot of freedom. I had my deal with Mizuno from 97 through 02, and that was a good run. My Dad ran with Spalding for 20+ years. OEMs are different than they were back then though. Part of the problem is that if I signed a deal with an OEM, that’d kick another guy out of there. I’m sure they wouldn’t like that. I’m doing my own thing right now and that is fine by me.

Q: How has the internet, ie places like PutterTalk, changed the demand for your putters? 

A: Jay seems a lot busier. That’s a good thing. I don’t do chat rooms or that kind of stuff. I probably wouldn’t ever get anything done. I’ll bet it’s a lot of fun. I’d probably never get off.

That’s all folks! Get your questions in for the other Q&A Sessions!

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