Sinksen chases U.S. Open dream


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Sioux Falls native Danny Sinksen advanced to the U.S. Open sectional qualifier and is on the cusp of playing at this year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in less than two weeks.

Thirty-six holes separate Danny Sinksen from fulfilling a lifelong dream.

“You play two good rounds to play in the Super Bowl of golf. I mean, the U.S. Open is it. If I could make it there it would mean everything,” Danny Sinksen said.

After learning the game from his father, Bob, and grandfather Wayne, Sinksen quickly developed a passion for golf growing up, leading him to a career in the sport.

“I think as a kid obviously I think you want to make it on the PGA tour. That’s your ultimate goal. But I do have, even written documents that say I want to be the head pro in Sioux Falls at one of the golf courses,” Sinksen said. 

Sinksen has coached the Augustana men’s golf  team for the last four years, and was recently promoted to the PGA Director of Player Development with Sioux Falls Golf. While he’s helping his students and players get better, Sinksen says it’s been a two-way street.

“I’ve had days where I give lessons for an entire day, and at the end of the day I’m hitting it better than I hit it before. Every time you give a lesson, I think teachers all over could say this, you’re learning along with them,” Sinksen said.

Along with work, Sinksen is also busy raising his two daughters with his wife Kelli. He’s managed to find a balance among his time with family, work and playing competitively.

“I don’t play 18 holes very often for fun anymore. I sneak in three holes in here and there. I hit range balls for half hour in between lessons, or maybe sneak out during lunch and hit some putts here and there,” Sinksen said. 

Sinksen qualified for his second sectional qualifier in May, and will compete against some marquee names for a spot in the U.S. Open, including Sanford International champion Steve Stricker.

“Last time I was on the range I had David Duval hitting balls right next to me. As a kid who loved the game growing up, it was really neat to be able to hit balls with him. It makes you feel that this is a really big deal and you’re excited to be there,” Sinksen said. 

If he’s to make his dream come true though, Sinksen knows he just has to worry about himself and the course.

“It’s just me against the course. If I play the game that I know I can do it, I can make it happen,” Sinksen said. 

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