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Truett (T.P.) Mills and Spalding Numbering System


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#1 HoosierGolfer

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:01 PM

Just thought I would share with all of you that may have interest in the old putters produced and sold by Spalding from the late sixties through the eighties that were designed by the late T.P Mills. I collected a great number of these over the past few years and put together this chronological list of the putters. I'm in no way connected with the current Mills company, I'm just sharing this for those that are into collecting these putters.

Designed by T.P Mills Spalding’s. Chronological Order.

NOTE: Spalding marketed the T.P Mills (first numbered series) line of black finished putter’s which were primarily designed as a flange style blade. Each model was numbered, the insignia found on the heel side of the face. Center of the face is noted by a dotted line cross, or crosshair. In 1984 most of the T.P.M putters sold for $25.00 RN series and between $30.00 and $40.00 later versions.


The first series released in 1970 was the Roman Numeral Series. Numbered I thru IX. These were produced predominantly in carbon steel, although stainless steel versions do exist. These were made with a black finish with the words Spalding Touring Pro Model engraved in the sole. They have a sight oval on the top line. They have the dotted line crosshair on the center face. The insignia TPM with Roman Numeral number is engraved on the face at the heel. These putters were shafted with True Temper 0.280 diameter shafts. The shaft could be straight, step less with flute or stepped steel in head with a black ferrule. The grips were a mix of either smooth black rubber pistol with Spalding in white or brown leather Spalding. Paint fills were in white. All were right hand only.
Numbers are; I – II – III – IV – V – VI – VII – VIII – IX.

The second series released in 1984 was the Numbered Series (first release). Numbered 1 thru 14. These were produced predominantly in carbon steel, although stainless steel versions do exist. These were made with a black finish with the words Precision Ground (toe), Spalding (center), and Designed by T.P Mills (heel) engraved on the sole. They have a sight dot on the top line. They have the dotted line crosshair on the center face. The insignia T.P.M with the number below is engraved in the face at the heel. These putters were shafted with True Temper 0.280 diameter shafts in head with NO ferrule. Most all of them were of the stepped steel type. Paint fills were white. Grips were smooth black rubber pistol with TPM or Spalding in white.
Numbers are; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 14. There was no number 13. Number 10, was left hand only. Number 14 is of the mallet type.

The third series released in 1985 was the Tour Series. These were numbered 15 thru 19. These were produced predominantly in stainless steel, although a few carbon versions are known to exist. These were made with a black finish with the words Precision Ground (toe), Spalding (center), the number below Spalding (center) and Designed by T.P Mills (heel) engraved on the sole. They have a sight dot on the top line. NO crosshairs on the face of this model. The insignia T.P.M with Tour Series below it was engraved on the face at the heel. These putters were shafted with True Temper straight step less steel shafts in 0.350 diameter over stem. Grips were black rubber textured with Tour Series in gold. All paint fills were gold.
Numbers are; 15 – 16 – 17 – 18 – 19. All right handed.

The Numbered Series were re-released in 1991 with these changes. The top line had a narrow line added the full length with a sight dot. The faces of this release were brushed raw finish (no black). Paint fill on the face engravings was in black. The number 12 had a milled pocket in this release. Everything else remained the same as the same of the first release. Grips were smooth black rubber pistol with TPM in white.
Numbers are; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 14. There was no number 13. Number 14 was changed to a flange style in left hand. Number 10 remained left hand only.

The Numbered Series were re-released again in 1994 with these changes. The top line had a short wide line on each side of the sight dot about ¾ inch long. Paint fill color of this line/dot was lime green. Face paint fill color was black. Sole paint fill was white. Crosshairs on face. Numbers 1, 9 and 19 had TPM engraved on the back with white paint fill. These putters were cast and not forged or milled. Most were black in color with a rough texture with the face brushed raw. The number 9 was grey in color with a rough texture. Shafts were True Temper step less steel in 0.280 in head with no ferrule. Grips were black to dark grey wrapped textured with TPM in white.
Numbers are; 1 – 6 – 9 – 10 – 12 - 14 – 15 – 19 – 20. Numbers 10 and 14 were left hand only.

The Gold Series was released in 1987 in Roman Numerals. All were made of brass. Paint fills were deep red. Shafts were True Temper straight step less steel in 0.350 diameter over stem. Grips were black rubber pistol type with Spalding or TPM.
Numbers are; I – II – III – IV.

Notes: Additional putters were released after 1994. Registered Series was a black oxide long style Number 1 with a pocket, white paint fill with T.P Mills engraved on the face top near the toe. This putter was also released as brass version.
There were a few other putters designed by Mr. Mills after he stopped working with Spalding released. One was a Tour Series III. Some of the first Numbered Series were released for the Japan market that had Cold Forged engraved in the bottom.

Callaway X Hot Driver
Callaway X Hot 3 Deep 3 Wood

Callaway X Hot 5 Wood
Callaway X Hot 3 - 4 - 5 Hybrids
Callaway X Hot 7 Iron thru SW
Callaway Mac Daddy 58* LW

Odyssey Metal X No. 8 Putter

"Golf doesn't build character; it reveals it."


#2 HoosierGolfer

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:03 PM

:rolleyes:

Callaway X Hot Driver
Callaway X Hot 3 Deep 3 Wood

Callaway X Hot 5 Wood
Callaway X Hot 3 - 4 - 5 Hybrids
Callaway X Hot 7 Iron thru SW
Callaway Mac Daddy 58* LW

Odyssey Metal X No. 8 Putter

"Golf doesn't build character; it reveals it."


#3 Matt Saternus

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for the info. It's nice to learn more about the history of companies and clubs sometimes, not just the newest and flashiest.

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#4 jamo

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for the info. It's nice to learn more about the history of companies and clubs sometimes, not just the newest and flashiest.


Yes. It's nice to hear about some of the little guys.

#5 Moecat

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:05 PM

Mark, good to see you here, and thanks for providing us that very useful information! :)

I've pinned the topic to the top of the forum so that it may be more easily referenced by TP Mills fans and collectors.
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#6 GolfSpy Dave

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:13 PM

This is such a great post for me! Here are the ones in my collection. I was going to try and restore them and then I found out that I am really not good at that. :)
Now I can figure out what they really are! The Tour models really roll the ball quite well.

Attached Images

  • Mills Big.jpg
  • Mills sole.jpg

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#7 Matt Saternus

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:45 PM

Sactown, you've been holding out. First the pics of the Bullseye collection, now these. Are we going to see a complete putter collection thread sometime soon?

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#8 HoosierGolfer

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:02 PM

I once had around fifty different Mills designed Spaldings that I had collected and restored along with another hundred or so odd putters, but right now I only own one. I enjoyed collecting putters, but let them all go.

Callaway X Hot Driver
Callaway X Hot 3 Deep 3 Wood

Callaway X Hot 5 Wood
Callaway X Hot 3 - 4 - 5 Hybrids
Callaway X Hot 7 Iron thru SW
Callaway Mac Daddy 58* LW

Odyssey Metal X No. 8 Putter

"Golf doesn't build character; it reveals it."


#9 GolfSpy Dave

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:13 PM

That is outstanding. The headcovers too. This is what I had hoped to do with mine, but I am not a refinisher.
I too though am more in the let them go stage...
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#10 jamo

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:22 PM

This is such a great post for me! Here are the ones in my collection. I was going to try and restore them and then I found out that I am really not good at that. ;)
Now I can figure out what they really are! The Tour models really roll the ball quite well.


Those grips all look very slick, do you ever use the putters?

#11 NGage

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:40 PM

I have a ton of pictures of many of these putters, the ones I collected and restored on my "Facebook" page (Mark Conner). I hope you enjoy checking them out.

MC



Interesting avatar. ;)

#12 NGage

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:41 PM

And....

I love those old TP Mills putters...especially when I find one and pick it up on the cheap. I got one at a Play it Again Sports for like $10.

#13 GolfSpy Dave

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:42 PM

Those grips all look very slick, do you ever use the putters?

I have a tour model with the original rubber grip that is not in the picture that makes the bag from time to time.
Nothing is really going to get rid of the Byron though.
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#14 jamo

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 02:02 AM

I have a tour model with the original rubber grip that is not in the picture that makes the bag from time to time.
Nothing is really going to get rid of the Byron though.


Smart move. Damaging those would be a cause for sadness.

#15 HoosierGolfer

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 04:19 PM

Here is a old photo from a club price guide that shows each model from the first numbered series. Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.

Attached Images

  • Misc 022.jpg

Callaway X Hot Driver
Callaway X Hot 3 Deep 3 Wood

Callaway X Hot 5 Wood
Callaway X Hot 3 - 4 - 5 Hybrids
Callaway X Hot 7 Iron thru SW
Callaway Mac Daddy 58* LW

Odyssey Metal X No. 8 Putter

"Golf doesn't build character; it reveals it."





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