Fort Dodge | Inducted 2018 | Category: Amateur Golfer/ Historical Selection

Tom Chapman Sr. was a legend in Iowa amateur golf. He spent his life in Iowa, except for his stint fighting in World War II. It was after the war when his amateur golf career really took shape.

A three-sport star (football, basketball, golf) at Storm Lake High School, Chapman had his eyes on the quarterback position at the University of Iowa until he broke his ankle. He played basketball and golf instead. Chapman led the Iowa basketball team in scoring as a freshman with 245 points in the 1941-42 season. His athletic career was interrupted after his sophomore season by the war. He was a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps. Tom flew the Burma campaign in Southeast Asia with the “Flying Tigers.” In off hours he played cards with members of his squadron – one of those men was Lee Marvin, who would become a star in Hollywood. On returning to Iowa City, he didn’t continue his basketball career. But he did become captain of the golf team.

For more than two decades he was a dominant force on the Northwest/North-Central golf circuit playing from his home base in Sioux City, Mason City and Fort Dodge. Considered one of the longest hitters of his day, Chapman Sr., won many tournament titles in Northwest Iowa, including three Fort Dodge Amateurs (1954 in a tie with Bill Black, 1956 and 1962).

Chapman Sr., joins his son, Tom Chapman Jr., in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame. Tom Chapman Sr. was 67 when he passed away on Feb. 11, 1989.

Career Highlights

  • 1954 – Fort Dodge Amateur Champion
  • 1956 – Fort Dodge Amateur Champion
  • 1962 – Fort Dodge Amateur Champion
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