Fort Dodge | Inducted 2014 | Category: Amateur Golfer/ Volunteer
Dave Sergeant’s life-long commitment to golf began at age seven. His success as a player and his many years of service as a volunteer for the Iowa Golf Association and for the Fort Dodge Country Club, combine to represent a remarkable lifetime of devotion to the game of golf.
Sergeant’s best friend growing up was Tom Chapman, Jr. (2008 Iowa Golf Hall of Fame inductee). They played almost daily at the Fort Dodge Country Club where the two teenagers once walked and played 108 holes in one day! After a successful high school and junior career Sergeant attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He was a member of the golf team from 1963-67 at the NCAA Division III school, and was the team MVP for the 1965-66 season. During his career at St. Olaf he won a Midwest Conference title and a NCAA regional title and competed in two NCAA D-3 National Championships. He was also a match play qualifier at the 1965 Western Junior played in Colorado Springs.
According to Fort Dodge friend Tom Schill, Dave “took 12 years off from competitive golf during the prime of his career”. The 1970 Drake Law School graduate devoted most of his time to his family, law practice and other community and church volunteer activities. He played occasionally in local and state events and his name started to appear more frequently on leader boards again in the early 90’s. After turning 50 Dave devoted more time and effort to his game and became a dominant force in Iowa senior golf.
From 1996 through 2001 he was IGA Senior Player of the Year four times (1997-99 and 2001) and finished second in 1996 and 2000. In that six-year stretch he won the Iowa Senior Match Play, the Iowa Masters and the Fort Dodge Amateur four times each and recorded a total of 10 runner-up finishes in those three events. He was runner-up three times (1995, 1999 and 2002) in the Iowa Senior Amateur but it was the one state senior title that eluded him.
Sergeant also made his mark on the national senior scene by qualifying for the1998 U. S. Senior Open played at Riviera CC in Los Angeles and the 2003 Senior Open played at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio. In 2001 he qualified for the U. S. Senior Amateur played in St. Louis and advanced to the round of 32 in match play. The next year he qualified for the U. S Senior Amateur played in Jacksonville, Fla. and won two matches before being eliminated in the round of 16.
In the same time period as his on-course success as a senior Sergeant’s activities included extensive service to the game. He served on the Fort Dodge CC board of directors from 1994-97 and again from 2007-2012, and included a two year term as club President from March 1995 to March 1997. He also served on the board of the Iowa Golf Association from 1995-2002 and was part of a committee that created The Golf Foundation of Iowa in 1999. In all these volunteer activities for his club and for the IGA, Sergeant provided pro bono legal service and advice.
In his letter of support for Sergeant’s nomination Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark S. Cady said: “His record as a golf champion is as remarkable as the very best in this state, but so too are his accomplishments as a lawyer, community leader and ambassador of the game.”