Golf club collectors prize vintage Powerbilt Citation woods, mostly because of their rich history and aesthetic appeal. Vintage Powerbilt Citation woods are traded extensively--at varying price levels--online. From the 1930s through the 1970s, dozens of the game's top players wielded these clubs on their way to PGA Tour and major tournament championships. Production of Powerbilt Citation woods was scaled back dramatically with the advent of metal woods in the '70s, making existing clubs in at least "good" condition coveted by golf aficionados.
The prototypes for what became the Powerbilt Citation woods series debuted on the market in 1916. Their manufacturer was already legendary: the Louisville, Kentucky-based Hillerich & Bradsby Company was the trusted maker of "Louisville Slugger" baseball bats since the late 1800s. On the heels of Franklin Roosevelt's election as president 1932, H&B renamed its persimmon drivers and fairway woods Powerbilt Citations.
Online bidding continues regularly over vintage Powerbilt Citation woods. Prices range widely, and occasionally, bidding on one of these clubs in online auction rises above $100.
The persimmon versions of Powerbilt Citation are highly revered, in part because of the players who won championships with them. Golf historians keep alive the memories of victories by the likes of Olin Dutra, Bobby Nichols, Grant Waite and Fuzzy Zoeller, so the legacy of vintage Powerbilt Citation woods persists.
Stamps of Approval
Genuine Powerbilt Citation persimmon woods bear numerical engravings on the clubs' metal soles. Collectors can also discern the genuine article by virtue of the "lucky" horseshoe imprint encasing the initials "HB" on the butt of the clubs' soles.
To avoid damage to vintage Powerbilt Citation woods, display them rather than play with them. Clubs with wooden heads are not as durable as their metal progeny. Over the decades since the Powerbilt Citation woods were first produced, their persimmon heads likely have become brittle. Damage to face or the clubheads can occur.