Des Moines | Inducted 1990 | Category: Benefactor

Jim Rasley loved golf, and he earned a reputation as an outstanding player. He won the 1963 Des Moines City title, and was a contender in many of the state’s biggest events until a back injury ended his career. A native of Tipton and a World War II veteran, Rasley had a 36-year banking career. But he still cared deeply about golf. So much so that he ran the Iowa Golf Association on a volunteer basis for two decades before stepping down in 1982. He favored a merger between the Iowa Golf Association and the Iowa PGA Section because he felt it would improve the amateur side of the game.

“This is a great day for golf and I have looked forward to it for at least a year,” Rasley said when the two organizations announced a merger in December of 1982. “We have taken the steps to give the best direction and leadership to Iowa golf that I can think of.”

Joe Chapman, who had been running the Iowa PGA Section, added the IGA to his responsibilities.

“Golf is a tremendously important pastime to the people of Iowa thanks to the unselfish efforts of many persons, none of whom have given more to the game than Jim Rasley. Jim’s efforts have brought us to this point.”

And although the two organizations would go their separate ways again in the fall of 2001, the IGA ended up hiring Bill Dickens as its first full-time director and it has grown into one the top state amateur organizations since then.

But Rasley’s labor or love, and his abilities as a golf administrator, are an important piece in the IGA’s history. Jim and his wife, June, started the State Father/Son Tournament in 1953. Rasley and his father, Cliff, had the first tee time in the inaugural event at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. The Father-Son is one of the IGA’s most popular events.

Rasley also started the Iowa Cup Matches, the annual competition between the state’s best amateur and professional golfers, in 1968.

Though he remained involved with the IGA as the treasurer for several years, Rasley handed off the administrative duties to Chapman in 1982. In March of that year, at the IGA’s annual meeting in Des Moines, Rasley was presented with a $3,850 check donated by the golfers of Iowa and a trip to the 1982 Masters. “I don’t know whether you guys are asking me to resign or trying to improve my disposition at golf tournaments,” Rasley said after receiving the surprise gift. “I’ve told June many times that I wish I had two bucks for every time I had to go out on the course after complaints of slow play. Well, you’ve given me $10 too much.”

Jim Rasley passed away on March 28, 1998. He was 73 years old.


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