I’ve come across a few H & B golf clubs (Hillerich & Bradsby Co.) in my travels, which is cool because they stopped being made as H & B and switched to the name Powerbilt in 1934. That means the clubs I’ve found were made in the range of 1918-1934.
I used the ones I found on reclaimed wood golf plaques. They’re in someone’s home or office now, on the wall with a quote. A cool piece of history.
This company started in 1855, and became a leading maker of baseball bats, Hillerich & Bradsby and Lousiville Slugger, some of the most popular baseball bats of all time, used by major league baseball greats past and present. They started making golf clubs in 1918 under the H & B name and switched to Powerbilt in 1934, also providing clubs for some golfing greats who won many tournaments including 8 majors with them.
It’s fun for me to find these clubs and to know the history of the company because I grew up in a baseball family and used H & B bats., AND, I’m a golf lover and I geek out on the history of the game and gear.
Some of the early clubs made by H & B have fun retro names like Invincible Iron, Lo-Skore Putter, Pyrotone Chipper, and Grand Slam Putter.
As an entrepreneur, I love that the company has endured for over 100 years, family run for three generations, and that they’ve had huge success with Golf and with baseball bats.
PowerBilt has enjoyed a rich history in professional golf including such being played by such outstanding players as Isao Aoki, Miller Barber, Frank Beard, Charles Coody, Bill Kratzert, Bobby Nichols, Fuzzy Zoeller, Larry Mize, Steve Lowery, Kenny Perry, Leonard Thompson, Chip Beck, Jodie Mudd, Ted Schultz, and Grant Waite.
Many others who have played individual drivers or iron sets have also won through the years. These players have led to over 140 professional tour wins including 8 Major Championships won by PowerBilt contract Tour Professionals. Below is a list of those Major victories:
1932 PGA Championship – Olin Dutra (H & B golf clubs).
1934 US Open – Olin Dutra (H & B golf clubs).
1964 PGA Championship – Bobby Nichols
1967 Masters – Gay Brewer
1971 Masters – Charles Coody
1979 Masters – Fuzzy Zoeller
1984 US Open – Fuzzy Zoeller
1987 Masters – Larry Mize
In 2017, the Powerbilt division was sold to private investors.