There was a time when I was very into collecting and restoring the Spalding putters that were designed by Mr. Mills during the 60's, 70' and 80's. I put together this little thing some time ago and it was posted on a few different sites so I thought I would add it here.
During my quest to locate these putters, I really got into doing some research on Truetts work with Spalding which lead me to put together this chronological list of the putter for those interested;
Designed by T.P Mills Spaldings. Chronological Order.
NOTE: Spalding marketed the T.P Mills (first numbered series) line of black finished putters 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 Ύ 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.