Lloyd Mangrum: Golf's 'Forgotten Man' and War Hero

Lloyd Mangrum pictured during the 1941 Masters Tournament
Golfer Lloyd Mangrum. Bettman/Getty Images

Lloyd Mangrum survived fighting in D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, returned to America and won, among his 36 PGA Tour titles, a U.S. Open championship.

Date of birth: Aug. 1, 1914
Place of birth: Trenton, Texas
Date of death: Nov. 17, 1973
Nickname: Mr. Icicle, because he was cool under pressure but also because of a sometimes frosty personality.

Mangrum's Wins

PGA Tour Victories

36 (View list on Page 2.)

Major Championships:

1

  • 1946 U.S. Open

Awards and Honors

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Member, Texas Golf Hall of Fame
  • PGA Tour Vardon Trophy winner (low scoring average), 1951, 1953
  • PGA Tour Money leader, 1951
  • Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953
  • Ryder Cup captain, 1953

Quote, Unquote

  • Lloyd Mangrum: "I don't suppose that any of the pro or amateur golfers who were combat soldiers, Marines or sailors will soon be able to think of a three-putt green as one of the really bad troubles in life." (Mangrum took part in the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge in World War II)
  • Byron Nelson on Mangrum: "He was a tough competitor and an excellent putter. Any time you beat him, you could know you were playing well."
  • Mangrum: "It's not your wife, it's not your life, it's only a game."
  • Mangrum: "Mediocre players are just out there messing up the sand traps."
  • Tommy Bolt on Mangrum's short game: "Lloyd could get down in two from off the earth."

    Trivia About Lloyd Mangrum

    • Mangrum shares the PGA Tour record for longest sudden-death playoff with Cary Middlecoff. Mangrum and Middlecoff played 11 playoff holes at the 1949 Motor City Open, neither player able to beat the other on any of the holes and bring the playoff to an end. A tie was declared and the two shared the victory.
    • Mangrum's older brother Ray was also a pro golfer and won five PGA Tour titles. Ray was well-known as one of the top PGA of America club professionals in Los Angeles for many years.

    Lloyd Mangrum Biography

    Lloyd Mangrum was called by legendary sportswriter Jim Murray "the forgotten man of golf." He won 36 times on the PGA Tour - only 12 men have won more - yet he was overshadowed even in his own time by fellow Texans Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Jimmy Demaret.

    Mangrum became serious about golf in the late 1920s when his brother, Ray, worked as a club pro in Dallas. Lloyd turned pro in 1930, he and his brother moved to Los Angeles, and Lloyd entered professional competitive golf in 1936. His first PGA Tour win came in 1940.

    That same year, Mangrum set a record for low round at The Masters - 64 - that stood until 1986.

    Mangrum served with the Third Army during World War II, where he took part in the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, winning four Battle Stars and earning two Purple Hearts. According to a Golf Magazine article on Mangrum, by the end of WWII, "Mangrum and one other soldier were the sole surviving members of their original unit."

    He began winning PGA Tour events again in 1946, beating Byron Nelson in a playoff for the 1946 U.S. Open.

    That started a terrific stretch into the mid-1950s, during which Mangrum won the bulk of his 36 career victories, both his Vardon Trophies and his one money title. He won four or more tournaments every year but one from 1948 to 1953, with a high of seven victories in 1948.

    It's surprising he didn't win more than one major. Mangrum also had three runner-up finishes in majors, and 24 career Top 10s in majors.

    On the golf course, Mangrum was known for his natty attire, which combined with his thin mustache and thin frame gave him an aristocratic appearance.

    He was best know for his terrific putting stroke, considered by many one of the best putters of his era. Mangrum was also acknowledged as a great wind player, as are many golfers who grew up in Texas.

    Heart disease forced Mangrum's exit from professional golf.

    He later wrote two well-regarded instructional books, including one - Golf: A New Approach - for which Bing Crosby wrote the forward.

    He died at age 59 as a result of his 12th (yes, 12th) heart attack. Lloyd Mangrum was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998.

    Here is the list of Lloyd Mangrum's tournament wins on the PGA Tour in events recognized by the tour today as official tournaments:

    • 1940 Thomasville Open
    • 1941 Atlantic City Open
    • 1942 New Orleans Open
    • 1942 Seminole Victory Golf Tournament
    • 1942 Inverness Invitational Four-Ball (partner: Lawson Little)
    • 1946 U.S. Open
    • 1947 National Capital Open
    • 1947 Albuquerque Open
    • 1948 Bing Crosby Pro-Am
    • 1948 Lower Rio Grande Open
    • 1948 Greater Greensboro Open
    • 1948 Zooligans' Open
    • 1948 All American Open
    • 1948 World Championship of Golf
    • 1948 Utah Open
    • 1949 Los Angeles Open
    • 1949 Tucson Open
    • 1949 Motor City Open (declared co-winner with Cary Middlecoff)
    • 1949 All American Open
    • 1950 Fort Wayne Open
    • 1950 Motor City Open
    • 1950 Eastern Open
    • 1950 Kansas City Open
    • 1950 Palm Beach Round Robin
    • 1951 Los Angeles Open
    • 1951 Tucson Open
    • 1951 Wilmington Azalea Open
    • 1951 St. Paul Open
    • 1952 Phoenix Open
    • 1952 Western Open
    • 1953 Los Angeles Open
    • 1953 Bing Crosby Pro-Am Invitational
    • 1953 Phoenix Open
    • 1953 All American Open
    • 1954 Western Open
    • 1956 Los Angeles Open