Vintage Hickory Golf Club, Braid Mills Long Nose Putter.
A good example of an aluminium Long Nose Braid Mills putter by the Standard Golf Co. The top of the head is stamped ‘STANDARD GOLF Co., MILLS’ 101757, PATENT, SUNDERLAND’, whilst the underside is stamped ‘The MILLS, Hilton X MODEL, Flat Lie, 9 ozs 14 drs. The club is in excellent condition with original hickory shaft with maker’s details and a polished leather grip.
The ‘Hilton’ probably refers to Harold Horsfall Hilton. He was an English amateur golfer of the late 19th and early 20th century and he used a Mills putter with such success in the Amateur and Irish Championships.
William Mills of Sunderland, England, was the most prolific designer and manufacturer of early aluminium head golf clubs and his company produced more aluminium putters than any other club maker during the wooden shafted era. He created The Standard Golf Company (William Mills, Limited), a division of The Atlas Works, to produce his clubs, commonly referred to as ‘Mills’ clubs. While his metalwoods were eventually accepted by many golfers, it was his putters that were the most popular. Mills began experimenting with the construction of aluminium clubheads as early as 1892. They produced two basic types of aluminium putters, the long nose style and the mallet head. The putters all came in different weights and lies and although the long nose style putters were the first models made it was ultimately the mallet head putters that became the most popular. Mills continued to offer mallet putters well into the 1920’s, long after the long nose style putters went out of production.