Gary D’Amato doesn’t consider himself a Hall of Famer, although the Wisconsin State Golf Association begged to differ in 2017 when it bestowed that honor on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s long-time golf writer and, most recently, its popular featured sports columnist.
Instead, the humble Milwaukee native simply considers himself lucky. And now those of you reading this are the lucky ones because D’Amato’s work will soon shift to Wisconsin.Golf and Killarney Golf Media publications.
D’Amato made it official Tuesday when he announced in a Facebook post that he is leaving the newspaper business after 40 years as a reporter, editor and columnist. He has spent the last 28 years at the Journal Sentinel, telling stories of Wisconsin’s most distinguished sports heroes with an award-winning flair and a heartfelt appreciation for the opportunity to do so.
His work has been recognized multiple times by the Golf Writers Association of America, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Milwaukee Press Club. He is a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year award from the National Sports Media Association.
In addition, D'Amato has also authored two golf-related books: "The Proof is in the Putting" with the late Jerry Korte, and "Erin Hills," which was published in conjunction with the 2017 U.S. Open Championship at the Milwaukee-area course.
“I’ve been blessed to have gotten tremendous assignments in my 40 years as a newspaper guy, including three Super Bowls, heavyweight championship fights in Las Vegas, more than 200 Packers games, 27 Masters Tournaments and 11 Olympic Games,” D’Amato wrote in his post. “My job has taken me to Australia, Russia, China, Italy, Brazil, England, Scotland, Canada, South Korea and just about every major city in America. When I look back at the people I’ve interviewed and written about over the years, I can’t believe my good fortune.”
Saying, “My first love is golf,” D’Amato will get the chance to return to those roots in joining the team of golf storytellers at Wisconsin.Golf and Madison-based Killarney Golf Media. Working alongside publisher John Hughes, general manager/photographer Jim Kelsh, digital editor Rob Hernandez and contributing columnist Dennis McCann, D’Amato will have the opportunity to cover State Opens, State Amateurs and other tournaments, test new equipment and profile top courses near and far.
“My job description is to write about golf – people, places, equipment, tournaments or whatever strikes my fancy,” D’Amato wrote, excited about the possibilities that role might bring him.
He will join the Killarney Golf Media in August.