Out of the Bunker: What Bruce Lietzke taught us about golf

Metro Creative

The recent passing of Bruce Lietzke was a sad day for golf.

During his illustrious career, Lietzke won 13 PGA Tour events, and he also added another seven victories on the Champions Tour. As great as he was, Lietzke played golf in his own way.

He practiced less than most players, and he hit nothing but a fade.

We can all learn from the way Lietzke approached the game. He recognized the strength of his game, and he understood how to prepare himself to perform his best.

During his career, Lietzke developed the reputation of a player so skilled that he could go months without practicing and not miss a beat. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go months without practicing, but it worked for him.

I work with players regularly whose goal is to learn to hit every type of shot imaginable.

Because of this, many become quite skilled at navigating themselves around the golf course. However, very few become great at any one shot. Lietzke became great with the fade, and it’s the only shot he hit throughout his career.

Can you imagine being so good at a shot that it was the only shot you ever attempted to hit? If you think about it, it’s a pretty smart way to play.

No matter the shape of the hole, Lietzke always played his fade. He never had to second guess his decision, because in his mind it was always the proper decision.

What can you take from this? Well, learn to recognize what is the easiest shot for you to hit. Rather than view a fade as a negative, perhaps you could do yourself some good by just playing for it on every shot.

You’ll likely get much better at it, and your level of consistency might also improve.

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