Hillerich and Bradsby Co.’s - PowerBilt, not a name that is particularly popular nowadays but going back a few years it was one of the most prestigious makes on tour.
The current philosophy of the company is to create quality golf equipment, without passing on the price to the consumer of sponsoring tour players. Therefore, PowerBilt do not sponsor any professionals, instead what you get is a quality piece of kit that is up there with the best but at a modest cost. At least that is the idea, so are they telling the truth?
The first thing I liked about the PowerBilt Citation titanium driver is that it is not a replica of any other club. It has a smart looking brass insert at the rear of the head. OK it could be argued that the Cobra Gravity Back woods also have a brass insert at the rear but this feature figured way back on all PowerBilt persimmon drivers and was what distinguished them from other makes. So they maintained the insert on all the new Citation woods, steel and titanium and it is not just a gimmick but apparently helps square the head at impact.
The traditionally shaped 330cc head does not look as bulky as some competitors clubs, has a nice metallic black finish with the PowerBilt logo as an alignment aid and is, if anything, understated. What cannot be denied is the feeling of quality when examining the head; it has obviously been properly designed and engineered. It is forged from the best quality Beta Titanium, and is actually legal, although it does push the ‘COR’ limits. The standard shaft is an excellent Rapport, filament wound, graphite, fitted with a Golf Pride, 50th Anniversary Tour Velvet grip.
Sound good so far? – Well, I paid £79 for this club from American Golf Discount, (They were previously £129 – still not expensive) complete with a head cover.
So does it work? I bought the 10.5-degree; regular shafted (45 inch) and took it straight to the driving range. As expected, the first highly adventurous, flat out strikes, saw the ball varying between a high powerful fade to a slice – not exactly what I was looking for. I did like the sound it made though, really crisp and not as tinny as some titanium drivers.
Later I found a review on this driver where it was suggested that all large headed clubs should be teed up higher than normal and hit on the up, by having the ball further forward in the stance. I went back to the range to try it; WOW, what a difference, the ball even looks as if it tries to realign itself in flight. I even get that additional surge in the trajectory that I have seen some big hitters achieve.
Believe me this club is very powerful, has given me more length off the tee and enables me to find a much greater percentage of fairways. I played a four ball with mid handicap friends at The Vale and not one of them out drove me (and they were all bigger guys than me)
The PowerBilt Citation impressed the hell out of them and sure impresses the hell out of me.
Bargain – you bet!!