Although Bruce Lietzke moved quietly amid the noise and hoopla of the PGA Tour, he was a force to be reckoned with. Dangerous when aroused was the best way to describe Lietzke, who gained his Tour card in 1975 and has been making an exceptional living ever since.
Bruce, who began playing golf at age 5 with a set of cut-down clubs provided by brother Duane (an assistant pro), grew up in Beaumont, Texas. He won the Texas State Junior Championship in 1968 in a very competitive field. Bruce then attended the University of Houston and played alongside the likes of Texans John Mahaffey and Bill Rogers. Lietzke won the Texas State Amateur title in the summer of 1971 and was the low Houston Cougar in both the Tucker Invitational and Rice Invitational the same year.
During the 1972-73 collegiate year, Lietzke won the Inwood Forest tournament and was a member of the UH team which won the Southwest Conference match play tourney. In 1973, shortly after leaving the UH, Lietzke put his clubs “in the closet” for a time. Having played non-stop for almost 15 years, he was “tied of it.” Six month later, he turned professional and earned his Tour card in 1975.
After that time, Lietzke always high on the money list. In 1977, he was 5th; in 1979, 8th; in 1981, 4th ; in 1984, 6th. He played on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team in 1981 and in the U.S. vs. Japan meet in 1984. Lietzke became known as the best “cross-handed” putter on Tour and is currently working on becoming the best regular tour player to use the long putter. Bruce has continued his play on the Champion’s Tour and consults with golf course design. He recently was involved in the design of the TPC San Antonio.
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas
Born: July 18, 1951