AMONG THE ‘FIRST’ CREDITED TO T.P. MILLS
In the early 1960’s T.P. Mills was a scratch golfer. He believed he could design and produce a putter that would be superior to the one he used. That was the start of the T.P. Mills Co. Today that same desire still motivates the T.P. Mills co. to make a better putter. Starting with little more that basic hand tools and unformed blocks of carbon steel. T.P. Mills began designing shaping and building true handmade putters that would lead a whole industry. For over 40 years the T.P.Mills co has set the standard by which all carbon-steel putters are measured. Along the way the company has collected a filing cabinet full of patents. T.P. Mills Co. designs continue to be copied by putter manufacturers to this day.
T.P. Mills began tinkering with putter design in the early 1960s at a time when the putter was the cheapest and possibly worst designed club in the golf bag. Having tried putting with all the most popular models of that day, he began his work to design one that was better than current models of the time, thus enabling average golfers as well as professionals to improve their putting. Little thought had been given to the function of most putters from a scientific standpoint. The center of gravity or the “sweet spot” was not marked on most putters or if marked was not placed in the proper spot. Also, the putter shafts used were basically the same shafts used in wood and iron clubs, just cut to shorter lengths.
The former aviation instructor and U.S. postman started correcting these problems by designing his own grips, special shafts and putter models by paying particular attention to the above mentioned as well as weight, loft, lie, hosel design and the size and shape of the flange. The correct balance of the putter is very important to the Mills Co., something that is often over looked in many of today’s putters. If you already own Mills handmade you have a virtual “mastermodel” because no two have ever been created exactly the same. “Every putter I make is different in that it is suited to the individual,” Mills has always said. The perfect balance and fit of a Mills handmade putter is born out in their use to win many of golf’s major championships, and virtually all of the PGA Tour events and many of the top amateur tournaments around the world.
T.P. Mills’s handmade putters have been treasured by Five presidents of the United States as well as Prime ministers, national and foreign dignitaries, celebrities and nearly every tour player that has graced this great game. The T.P. Mills company has letters of gratitude from such people along with the accompaniment of personal checks, payment for the clubs.
Let there be no mistake, T.P. Mills was responsible for taking a club that sold for $35 to $45 and through great craftsmanship and originality turning it into something that sold for several hundred even thousands of dollars. T.P. Mills turned putter manufacturing into putter designing and then into the art of making a putter. Many of the top putter designers of the last 20 years are collectors of T.P.’s work. Yet, T. P. and David will be the first to say that there is no magic wand. “Its still the puttee’ more than the putter,” “But if you get the putter where you like the feel of it, the weight, balance and loft are right for you, the “sweet spot” is where it should be and the shaft flex is correct, that’s as far as you can go.”
Today the T.P. Mills Co. runs under the leadership of T.P.’s son David and his talent and craftsmanship are well recognized among the top PGA tour players and amateur players around the world. And whose handmade models have won many current PGA Tour and European events ensuring the family a proud tradition of making handmade’s one at a time. David continues to design and develop new models with each one being a putter of precision craftsmanship that many believe cannot be matched.