Putter Tested: TP Mills Comp One
(Written By: GolfSpy Matt)
“A putter with history”
Do you think Scotty Cameron ever touched, or even looked at, the putters in your local shop that bear his name? Of course not.
On the other end of the spectrum, David Mills, TP Mills’ son, has his hands on every single putter that leaves the TP Mills Co shop.
You will be excused if you are not familiar the TP Mills Co. They are not the 800 pound gorilla in the putting world, but they do have more than their share of history. This year, they are revisiting some of that history with the Comp Series. The "Comp One" is the first of six planned models in this series, each model being an original TP Mills design. Each model will be limited to a run of 100 putters, 25 each in four different finishes. While these putters will certainly be a hit with collectors, they are available in custom length and lie angle for those who plan to game them.
- 1030 carbon steel
- 355 grams
- 5 o’clock toe hang
- ½ shaft Offset
- Black Oxide Finish
- Loft 4 Degrees
- Lie Angle 72 Degrees
BALL USED: Titleist Pro V1
When I think of a TP Mills putter, I think of some of the softest feeling putters in the industry. I’ve owned a couple of TP Mills in the past, and the combination of shape, soft carbon steel, and milling pattern combined to give them all a buttery softness.
The Comp One, however, offers a feel that is considerably firmer than other TP Mills. To my ear, the sound at impact is a quiet “tock” as opposed to the “thud” that you get with marshmallow-y soft putters.
While one of our testers said that the putter felt a bit hard, all the others thought that it hit a very nice sweet spot in terms of feel. There is ample feedback to let you know how well the putt was struck, but it is not harsh. Similarly, the putter is soft, but not so soft that distance control was difficult to gauge.
TP Mills putters have a certain aesthetic look to them: a combination of precision and obvious hand-done craftsmanship, that the Comp One definitely lives up to.
The finish on this Comp One is black oxide. One interesting detail is that the top line has more of a glare-reducing satin finish compared to the rest of the putter’s shiny black oxide. Two things that really finish off this putter well are the headcover and the grip. The headcover is dark blue micro suede with sparking silver stitching that is eye-catching without being gaudy. The grip, a dark brown leather Gripmaster with TP Mills logos embossed at the top and sides, is one of the softest leather grips I’ve ever laid my hands on.
The test group’s favorite part of this putter was the milling. David Mills calls this milling pattern alligator milling, and it is used not only on the face but also on the back of the putter. What is particularly cool, in my opinion, is that the milling pattern stops at the heel and toe to leave “flat” space for the engraving, and it also helps to make the engraving along the back of the putter pop.
SET-UP & ALIGNMENT
As with the Bettinardi SS11 that we tested recently, the TP Mills Comp One is short on alignment aids, sporting only the classic TP Mills oval on the top line.
The test group, having been exposed to putters without lines before, was a bit more accepting of the Comp One. While many still prefer a line or other elaborate aids, many felt that the Comp One was perfectly easy to aim at their target.
While I can’t say this for sure, I do expect that future Comp Series models will offer sight lines for those who prefer them.
Performance testing was done by 7 golfers. The testers were given the putter and asked to hit putts of all lengths (3 to 20 feet). They were then asked to rate the putter from 1-10 in each of the following categories:
- Distance Control = 9.7
- Accuracy = 9
- Sound & Feel = 9.4
- Appearance = 9.7
- Alignment = 8.9
- OVERALL = 93.40
FIT FOR STROKE™
Don’t change your stroke. Change your putter.
The (FIT FOR STROKE™) concept was developed by PING, yet another genius fitting system they have developed for golfers. It works hand-in-hand with the iPING Putter App which is highly suggest everyone getting (IT’S FREE!). You might be surprised to find out that the stroke you think you have isn’t the stroke you actually have.
This addition to the MGS reviews will allow you to become a more consistent putter by matching you with models that better fit your stroke type. They will be broken down into three categories: (1) Straight – for face balance putters (2) Slight Arc – for mid toe hang putters (3) Strong Arc – for toe down putters
“Results from hundreds of player and robot tests at PING offer overwhelming scientific support for the effectiveness of fitting for stroke. In recent years more diagnostic tools and testing equipment have become available, and the results prove that a golfer’s consistency improves when their putter balance matches their stroke type. It was interesting to observe that golfers putt more consistently with stroke-appropriate models, but they also show a personal preference for these models, too. Prior to putting with them, golfers are drawn to models that fit their eye, even before they fit their stroke.” says PING.
The TP Mills Comp One is a: STRONG ARC
There’s something undeniably nice about a putter that was actually made by the man whose name is on it. This sentiment was echoed by our test group, even those who prefer mallets and alignment aids. Regardless of their personal preferences, the test panel agreed that the TP Mills Comp One delivers when it comes to feel and looks.
While I do not know which models the Comp Series will include, I suspect that when it’s all said and done there will be something for every player in this line. At a retail price of $359, the Comp Series walks the line between being an out-of-reach collectable and a run-of-the-mill gamer. Having one of these in your bag will definitely set you apart on the greens.
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