In 1968, 19-year-old Bruce Fleisher became the youngest golfer ever to win the U.S. Amateur Tournament.
Fleisher went on to enjoy a lengthy career in golf, and worked as a club professional in the 1980s. His competitive resume includes a win in the 1989 PGA Club Professional Tournament, a victory at the 1991 New England Classic on the regular PGA Tour and a robust 18 tournament wins on the PGA’s Champions Tour (formerly the Senior Tour).
Now 66, Fleisher plays a limited amount of tournament golf and has turned his attention to promoting to the game that gave him so much. Next Wednesday (July 8), he’ll promote golf here in Texas County when he attends a junior tournament at Oakwood Golf Club and conducts a free clinic at its conclusion.
“It’s really time for me to give back,” Fleisher said. “The good Lord blessed me and my time in golf couldn’t have been better. I’ve been very lucky.”
Fleisher lives in Asheville, N.C. during warmer months and in North Palm Beach, Fla., in the winter. He became friends with Oakwood owner Bud Evans about 25 years ago through a chance meeting that occurred because the man who was Fleisher’s caddy and manager owned a fishing boat in the Miami area.
“I think Bud chartered the boat, and the next thing you know I realized I really liked the guy and we got along,” Fleisher said. “But Bud has a heart of gold and I’m glad to come to Houston and help him out.”
Fleisher has played in a couple of Champions Tour events this year and plans to play a couple more.
“If I play anymore, it will be on kind of a whim,” he said. “At 66, I don’t have anything left to prove to myself and I just don’t want to work as hard as I would to play at a high level. I also don’t miss all the travel.”
Being sort of an old-school player, Fleisher is disappointed by what he calls the “sensationalizing” of the way professional golf is often played in 2015.
“It’s so different these days, especially on the PGA Tour,” he said. “I question the course set-ups sometimes – when a guy is last in driving accuracy and wins a golf tournament, something’s wrong. I don’t think you should just get up there and blast the ball anywhere and not be penalized more for it. I think the days of true shot-making are gone.”
Oakwood’s junior tournament is set to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Fleisher’s clinic will follow at about 4:30 p.m. and is open for anyone to attend.
Fleisher said he doesn’t have a rigid presentation in mind, but will bring some equipment designed to help users improve their swings.
“I’ll try to make it simple so it won’t hurt too much,” he said. “I’ll probably go through the bag, starting with the wedges and end up with the putter. But I’m looking forward to this and being around the kids.
“If I can help put a smile on their faces, I’ll be happy.”
For more information, call Evans at 417-967-3968.
I’m looking forward to this and being around the kids. If I can help put a smile on their faces, I’ll be happy.”