TPP REVIEW: TP Mills 1310 High Toe Fleetwood

TP Who?

I was going to ask the silly question of “So who has heard of T.P. Mills?”  If you have spent any time as a lover of putters, the name Truett P. Mills was probably one of the first you came to know.  If you have been around for a while, you may have purchased one of T.P.’s Spalding putters new from a golf shop.  If you came a bit later to the game, maybe you found one used somewhere.  That’s what happened to me.  I found this little gem in a thrift store right about the time I was getting into golf.

 

I didn’t know anything about the putter business at this point.  No clue about head shapes, toe-hang, types of steel, and so on.  All I knew was that using this little putter felt better than the others I had tried, and that I wanted to know more about this TP Mills person who designed it.  And thus my plunge into the world of putters began.  Of course when I found this putter, TP was no longer in the putter making business, but I learned that his son David had taken over the job of making putters from his father.  Additionally, I quickly learned that David too was able to put some magic in the metal just like his father had done.

Rollin’ In the Fleetwood

Today we dial the TP Mills machine a few decades forward from the putter shown above to this modern creation from David Mills:  The High-Toe Fleetwood.  When I saw this putter on the TP Mills site, my purchasing willpower just vanished.  Great headshape.  Wide flange, high toe, and a nice black finish, what’s not to love?  Add in a bit of custom orange paintfill, and the Fleetwood was on its way.

 

Aesthetics

So the putter looked great on the site, but it was really just a hint of what the putter looked like in person.  David Mills does a great job with metal.  The milling is very precise, both on the body and in the lines of the face.  The black PVD finish is very rich, and more matte than glossy.  With all of the precision, it is very nice to see the hand stamped touch in the cavity.  You can easily imagine David Mills lining up the stamps and hammering away on the head.  One cool, and somewhat rare, feature about this putter is the lack of stamping on the face.  No name or trademark crosshairs, just the sweet mill lines.  I don’t recall ever seeing another Mills putter with the naked face.

The TPM-branded grip on the putter is a great feeling, perforated leather model.  I was amazed at how the addition of the perforations changed the feel of the grip.  The perforations definitely make the grip a bit tackier than the non-perforated versions.  The headcover is a real showstopper.  I LOVE the look of this headcover.  The woodie on the top is amazingly detailed, with a thread count that must be approaching infinite.  The only drawback about the cover is that it is too nice to take on the course.  I had to slip the putter into a nice, but less awesome nylon Mills cover for our trips to the course.  This may be the first time that I was more concerned about protecting the headcover rather than the putter.

 

On The Course

So this thing is quite a beast on the course.  First of all, it is one of the softest feeling putters that I have used in quite a while.  The combination of carbon steel, PVD finish, and head shape all combine into a deliciously soft feeling at impact.  Not wet mud soft, but more like the soft when your head comes to rest on that perfect pillow.  Super comfortable and does the job.  Tone at impact is muted, as one would expect.  I found distance control to be excellent with this putter.  Just took a bit of time on the practice range, and the putts were rolling to the correct target distance.

For those of you who aim with a site line, you can’t miss the bold, contrasting line on the flange.  I am still not certain that a site line and I see eye to eye.  Accuracy suffers a bit for me with this putter when I aimed with the line rather than from squaring the face to the target.  Had this ‘wood sported the classic TP Mills sight oval, my accuracy would have likely increased.  Again, this is based upon my personal aiming preferences.  If you are a “line aimer”, this beauty would be right up your alley.  If not, keep an eye out on the TP Mills site for site oval models.  They do show up here and there.

The high toe makes the putter look like it sits up at address.  Personally, I found this a confidence booster.  At address, the high toe makes the putter feel connected to my body.  That sounds a little strange, but the curving up of the toe just seems to bring the putter in a bit closer and more connected.  Imagine how a low toe would be sort of falling away from you.  Maybe this is just a “me” thing… :)

The Fleetwood has a bit more toe hang than I usually game (around 4:00-4:30).  As a slight arc/straight kind of guy, I did feel like my results with the Fleetwood improved after adding a bit more of an arc to the stroke.  The head just opens and closes better on an arc.  Although this stronger arc is not typical for me, for some reason I didn’t feel uncomfortable putting with this stroke.  I think that the weight and balance of the fleetwood just wants to swing smooth.  Man I would love this head with a little less hang.  Maybe David will make a long neck version of this one to bring that toe hang to around 3:30.  Top it with an oval…

To wrap up the play discussion of this putter I want to tell you a little story.  About a month ago I worked a booth at a local golf expo.  I hung out on the putting green with various company reps for three full days.  One of the reps was putting around with the Fleetwood and was just astounded at the feel of the putter.  Later in an unrelated email, he asked me when the review of the putter would go up on theputterplace.com.  Obviously, he couldn’t stop thinking about the Fleetwood.  Of all the things that he encountered that weekend, the Mills putter obviously made an impression on him.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a similar experience with a Mills putter.

Find out more about the history of TP and David Mills HERE and HERE

Shop for some sweet Mills putters HERE

 

 

 

 

1 Comment
  1. Wow! Great review I’ve never owned a Fleetwood but that is a sharp looking putter with a really cool headcover maybe I’ll become a woodhead one day.

    Thanks