POWERBILT AT GOLFDIRECT. To most of the world, the sport of golf is older than the sport of baseball. But that was not the case for a firm in Louisville, Kentucky, called Hillerich & Bradsby Co. The Hillerich family turned the first world-famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat in 1884. It would be over 30 years before a golf club found its way into that small wood turning shop. John A. “Bud” Hillerich, who was 17 years old when he turned the first Louisville Slugger, knew he had a winner in baseball. From that day in 1884, young Hillerich built the family company into the number-one bat producer in the world.