Atlantic | Inducted 1991 | Category: Amateur Golfer

Just eight years old when she started playing tournament golf in 1933, Phyllis won the Atlantic city title just four years later. She also qualified for the championship flight of the Iowa Women’s Amateur that year at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo, losing her first-round match. She entered the summer of 1940 a seasoned veteran. Now 15 years old and heading into her junior year of high school, she was a runner-up to future U.S. Open champion Betty Jameson at the Trans-Mississippi. Later that summer she won the first of her three Iowa Women’s Amateur titles .In the summer of 1941, Phyllis paired up with three male Atlantic High classmates and won a state title. A protest was filed, and that title was stripped because of a technicality. Rules stated a faculty member had to be on site. Atlantic’s track coach was scheduled to be there, but didn’t show. Phyillis had a different version of the story. “There was no rule against me playing, so they had us disqualified,” she said.

Her second Women’s State Amateur crown came in 1942 at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. She also lost to her close friend, Dorothy Germain, in the finals of the 1944 Women’s Western Amateur.

Phyllis was named to the 1946 Curtis Cup team, but the competition was canceled because of the war. Playing for Northwestern, Phyllis beat Germain in the championship match of the National Women’s Collegiate. She married Dorothy’s brother, Jack, a month later.

Her biggest national triumph came in 1945, when Phyllis upset Babe Didrikson Zaharias, 1 up, in the finals of the Women’s Western Amateur at Knollwood Country Club in suburban Chicago. She won when she eagled the final hole after hitting a 3-wood to 10 feet. It was the first match Zaharias had lost in more than seven years. That night, when she reached the intersection of Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 71 outside Atlantic on her drive home, Phyllis was greeted by a Cass County sheriff and a caravan that escorted her to the Atlantic Golf and Country Club. A reception, sponsored by the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, was held to celebrate her victory. Phyllis won her final Iowa Women’s Amateur title in 1952, also at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Phyllis Otto Germain was 89 when she passed away on July 18, 2014.

To Read the Atlantic State Champions Reunion Article from 1982 Click Here

Career Highlights

  • 1940, ’42, ’52 Iowa Women’s State Amateur Champion
  • 1945 Women’s Western Am Champion (def. Babe Didrikson Zaharias).
  • 1946 Member of Curtis Cup Team
  • 1946 National Collegiate Women’s Champion at Northwestern
  • Women’s Western Senior Champion
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