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Old 07-28-2018, 10:41 AM   #1
hardtner
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Default RIP Bruce Lietzke

I understand that Mr. Lietzke has lost his battle with cancer. Growing up in competive golf, he was a hero to me. I loved how he could hit that high fade over and over. My friends and I would always try to top each other with big bending “Lietzke” shots.

He was legendary for his lack of practice, yet he would come off a months long layoff and still be the same player and win tournaments. Many great stories are told about his long layoffs and success.

He did it his own way and his family and his hobbies came before his career, which I admire. I was lucky to watch him at Colonial as a kid and he inspired me. He’s a legendary, yet unassuming, figure in the Texas golf world. I hope he enjoyed his last years on earth at his Athens ranch. RIP
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:45 AM   #2
oktx
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Dang. Didn't know he was ill.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:54 AM   #3
Cajun Blake
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Prayers sent up for the Lietzke family and friends

Cancer sucks
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:10 AM   #4
rtp
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I remember a story that some of the tour guys put a banana in with his clubs at the last event of the year he played in. When he showed up at the range for his first event the following year, the banana was still there. He was a true natural talent and a great guy. RIP, sir.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:17 AM   #5
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Heavy hearts around the Athens community. Bruce is a neighbor. His ranch is not but 1 mile East of our place. Being friends with his daughter and her family we have followed his battle for the last year and a half and it hurt when news came out of his passing. His SIL is a member here but doesn't frequent the site much. Bruce's grandkids are my kiddos age and I know it's very hard for them to understand being so young. He really was close to all of his family and it showed.

Continued prayers for family and friends!
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:02 AM   #6
Mike
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I was lucky to have been around Bruce when I was in the golf business in Beaumont when he came to visit family and I know his nephew that still lives in Sour Lake. I spent a lot of time yesterday reading the stories and recaps from so many players of his era that truly felt that Bruce did it the right way, his way. When he was home, there was no practice, no talk or interviews, he was there for his family.

Jack Nicklaus wrote a great post last night remembering Bruce and it wasn't about the golf, it was about their trips to the South Australian Open, they played golf but it was the fishing trips that Jack loved that Bruce set up for before and after the event.

So many pros thought back in the 80's that Bruce was selling himself short in the golf world, he needed to play more, be accessible, promote himself but he was doing it his way. Those pro friends all say they wished they could do what Bruce as able to do and remove himself from the game when he wanted and be with his family when he wanted.

One of the best lines in an interview was regarding coaching his son Stephen's baseball team, when asked why he was taking off so much in the spring/summer transition over the years, his reply was "It's not my fault that golf season conflicts with the baseball season, is it?" That says a lot,,,,,,
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
lovemylegacy
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Bruce would have a golf school or golf week for the kids. Two of my sons would go and Bruce was very approachable and the kids loved him. He would autograph caps and golf balls, we have several things autographed by him. He taught to kids to "keep" their swing, which is counterintuitive these days in golf.

He told a story about a caddie joke that he was the beneficiary. Bruce had played a tournament, well his caddie knowing Bruce doesnt practice or play very much between tournaments, put a banana in his golf bag at the end of the tournament, Bruce didnt know. Well you can imagine the smell. Bruce said he got even.

I enjoyed going to his golf week with my boys, Bruce was a good man.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:36 AM   #8
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The banana story in full:

Bruce told his caddie after the last tournament in 1984? that he wasn’t going to pick up a club until the first tournament of next year. His caddie didn’t believe him and slipped a banana in his bag. Bruce chunked his clubs in the garage and didn’t pull them out until the first tournament of the next season, at which time he found the banana.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:47 AM   #9
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Used to love watching him when the Tour came thru Dallas. RIP


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Old 07-29-2018, 09:52 AM   #10
lovemylegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El General View Post
The banana story in full:

Bruce told his caddie after the last tournament in 1984? that he wasn’t going to pick up a club until the first tournament of next year. His caddie didn’t believe him and slipped a banana in his bag. Bruce chunked his clubs in the garage and didn’t pull them out until the first tournament of the next season, at which time he found the banana.
Yeah he had lots of stories. That was a big part of his interaction with the kids was telling stories of his experiences. He told one of his first tournament win,(forgive me if Im not exactly right, its been 15years or so). He won a tournament in Cali or Zona and part of the winnings was a new Corvette. He talked about driving the Vette back to Texas and the emotions he was feeling, listening to the music wide open and driving fast. Kids were listening to every word, Bruce was good at speaking and keeping peoples attention.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:09 AM   #11
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Very true on the Corvette story Part of the lure the tour and experience for Bruce was driving in his sweet white Trans Am to each venue. All those guys flew around the country and he’s just going cross country on a road trip and enjoying that as much as playing the game.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:14 AM   #12
El General
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He was a great guy. He would speak at a clinic in Beaumont at Henry Homberg every year and hit a few of those big banana fades for us to watch. I would have been just happy to sit there and watch him hit.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:33 AM   #13
equyst
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prayer
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:35 AM   #14
Atfulldraw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graysonhogs View Post
Used to love watching him when the Tour came thru Dallas. RIP


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We had players tent tickets at the Byron Nelson when he won it sometime in the late 80's.

Super nice guy, with a killer fade.

Golf was just a means to an end for him.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:41 AM   #15
starn11gy
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Great guy loved watching him play. Always followed him at colonial.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:44 PM   #16
lovemylegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El General View Post
He was a great guy. He would speak at a clinic in Beaumont at Henry Homberg every year and hit a few of those big banana fades for us to watch. I would have been just happy to sit there and watch him hit.
Heck, we may have been there. he had clinics at Homberg aka Terrel Park, Bayou Din and IdylWild. Maybe one at the BCC.

El General, you from the GT?
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Old 07-29-2018, 02:22 PM   #17
17ncs
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Prayers sent. RIP.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:15 AM   #18
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I grew up playing in his junior golf tournament out at Idylwild from the time I was 7-16. I can still remember sitting on the range while he gave clinics after the round and watching him hit those high cuts. His nephew is the head pro out at the Beaumont Country Club so I get to see him a bunch. Terrible deal, cancer is the worst.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:22 AM   #19
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Celebration of his life will be Monday Aug 6, 11am at First Baptist Church here in Athens.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:02 PM   #20
Roy D Mercer
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If I am not mistaken he was the pioneer of the long putter. His fade was money..

I watched him several times at Colonial.
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