Tom was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. He accepted his first assistant professional position upon graduating in 1982. As an assistant, he worked at one public course and three private clubs in three different states before accepting his first head professional position at Thunder Hills CC in Peosta, IA in 1987. He accepted his current position as the Head Professional at Cedar Rapids Country Club in 1994.