The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


November 15, 2008

Duane Lietzke’s life revolves around golf

Golf has played a major role in Duane Lietzke’s life. And, even though he is retired, it continues to do so.

Duane, older brother of Champions Tour and former PGA Tour star Bruce Lietzke, has been a caddy, caddymaster, assistant professional, head professional and golf club manufacturers’ representative over the last 50 or so years.

“I sold for Tommy Armour Co. for 30 years, Adams for six and a half, and then I retired three years ago,” Duane says. “Now I just drive Chris (his wife of 17 years and a sales representative for several golf lines) around. My title is director of transportation.”

Among the companies that Chris represents are Hot-Z golf bags, Click Gear three-wheel push carts and Texoma, which features spikes and tees, Wynn grips and Daphne animal headcovers.

Duane and Chris are on the road and away from their home in Grove, Okla., quite a lot during the year covering her territory of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

And just about everywhere they travel, Duane sees old friends and customers. He doesn’t play much golf anymore, “maybe 25 or 30 times a year,” he says. But he enjoys teeing it up with friends.

Duane learned the game as a young caddy in Beaumont, Texas, before becoming the caddymaster, which means he was in charge of all the caddies at the golf course. From that, he graduated to the pro shop as an assistant professional. He was head professional at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita when he embarked on a new career as sales representative for the Tommy Armour company.

What Lietzke enjoyed most as a club professional was teaching.

“I especially liked working with kids,” he said. “Four of my junior golfers are country club golf professionals, so I guess I got them really hooked on golf.”

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