Lloyd Mangrum, movie star handsome with a pencil-thin mustache, was one of golf’s toughest competitors. A top player in the 1940s and 1950s, Mangrum was mentioned on the required 75 percent of the PGA TOUR ballots in 1998, during a year when no other player received more than 66 percent of the vote on the returned ballots.
Mangrum, born in Trenton, Texas, in 1914, never had an amateur golf career. He started working as an assistant professional to his brother, Ray, the head professional at Cliff-Dale Country Club in Dallas at the age of 15. He joined the pro tour in 1937 and broke through for his first victory in the 1940 Thomasville Open.
Like so many golfers of his era, Mangrum’s career was interrupted when he entered the military service during World War II. Mangrum served his country with distinction as a staff sergeant in the Third Army. During the invasion of Normandy, his jeep overturned and his arm was broken in two places. Mangrum also suffered shrapnel wounds to his chin and knee during the Battle of the Bulge. He returned home from the war in 1945 with four battle stars and two Purple Hearts.