Gary Van Sickle, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, joined the staff in 1996 and covers golf for the magazine and SI’s Golf Plus section.
He’s all about golf. He’s a scratch handicap (more or less, depending upon the size of the bet). He was the Yale Golf Club champion in 1993, advanced through local U.S. Open qualifying in 1996 and played in sectional qualifying with Tour players Larry Mize and Tom Purtzer, just missing a spot in the Open by a scant 17 shots. He did warm up on the range next to qualifier Steve Jones, who was wearing shorts, and who went on to win the Open that year at Oakland Hills.
Despite once posting a career-low 62 in 1999, he’s not likely to give you strokes. He has also made seven holes-in-one, which is a function primarily of how often he plays, according to his wife, Betsy. Last summer, he caddied for Andy North in the PGA Tour’s U.S. Bank Championship at Brown Deer Park, Van Sickle’s home course when he lived in Milwaukee.
He was a sportswriter and columnist at The Milwaukee Journal for 13 years, covering a variety of sports that included golf, University of Wisconsin football and basketball, and the Green Bay Packers.
Among Van Sickle’s writing awards are the 1983 Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year; UPI’s 1984 Best Sportswriter (Wisconsin); Best Sports Story of 1988 by the Milwaukee Press Club, and several entries in Best Sports Stories. His Golf Writers Association of America awards include Best Internet News Story for SI.com for a 2006 Ryder Cup story on Darren Clarke leading Europe to victory.
Van Sickle was born in Midland, Mich., graduated from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) with a journalism degree and currently resides in Wexford, Pa., just outside Pittsburgh. His son, Mike, attends Marquette University and competes on the golf team.