John Daly – The Real Story

John Daly - The Real Story
John Daly - The Real Story

One of the most iconic and often misunderstood players in the game is big John Daly aka JD.
 
His career has been an epic roller coaster ride that few of us can even begin to imagine. Four ex-wives, several stints in rehab, epic meltdowns on the course, a Santa beard, and so much more. But he’s also one of the most down to earth, likeable guys to ever play professional golf.
 
Grab a beer and let’s review the real story behind the long hitting legend.
 




 

The Real Story of John Daly

 
John was a stick on the golf course from an early age. At age 13 he won the club championship, defeating all male members and even barred juniors from competing in future events.
 
In high school, John not only competed in golf but also played football as a punter and placekicker. In fact, he even has some high school kicking records to prove it.
 

JD’s Golf Swing

 
John is self-taught and has one of the most iconic swings thanks to his incredibly long backswing. Not to mention, he goes at everything with maximum effort – swinging easy isn’t in his vocabulary. As he said, “I hit the ball as hard as I can. If I can find it, I’ll hit it again.”
 
John has always played aggressively and became the first player to average 300+ yards in a season.
 




 

College Career and Turning Pro

 
The legend of John started in college while attending school at the University of Arkansas. After arriving, his coach told him that he was overweight and wanted him to lose some pounds to make the team.
 
John obliged, but didn’t do it in the conventional way of eating less and exercising more. No, instead, he did it the opposite way.
 
He smoked a pack of cigarettes and drank a bottle of whiskey every day. Apparently this killed his appetite and somehow worked because he lost 20 pounds in a very short time.
 
Needless to say, he had a rocky relationship with his coach and left the University without getting his degree. He turned pro in 1987 and played various mini tours until earning his PGA Tour card through Q-School in 1991.
 

Winning the PGA Championship

 

 
John made waves in the golf world in 1991 when he became the PGA Champion at Crooked Stick.
 
JD’s chances of even playing that week were slim as he was the 9th alternate (yes, you read that right). But thanks to a late WD from Nick Price, he made it into the event and competed in his third major ever.
 
The withdrawal came with little notice and had to drive all night on Wednesday to arrive on time. Despite not playing a practice round at the difficult course, he shot 69 on Thursday with Nick’s caddy on the bag. By Sunday, he was kissing the huge trophy, cementing his place in golf history.
 
Winning any major is impressive, but the way he did it was even more incredible.
 

Golf Career

 

 
John went on to win five times on the PGA Tour and more wins across the world. He went on to win more than $10 million from his play on the course, plus a ton of lucrative endorsement deals. Since 2016 John has competed on the PGA Tour Champions.
 

Controversy

 
John is no stranger to controversy and has been suspended from the PGA Tour a number of times. From walking off the course without telling his opponents, hitting putts while they’re moving, verbal assaults and breaking spectators’ cameras, he’s done it all.
 
Not to mention, he’s had a rocky personal life as well. His hard partying ways have been tough on his relationships, which include four ex-wives and a lot of alimony money.
 




 
John is also an avid gambler. In his book, he claims to have lost 50-60 million dollars during a 15-year period. He claims that one of his favorite games was a $5,000 slot machine at the Wynn Casino.
 

Facts About John Daly

 
Need some more facts about the wild life of John Daly?
 
Then here you go…
 
– John beat bladder cancer in 2020.
– Despite winning two majors, he never played on a Ryder Cup team.
– He took an 18 on the par 5 6th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (the highest score ever recorded on the PGA Tour).
– John’s son (appropriately named Little John) is a stick, too. He competed with his dad in the 2020 PNC Father-Son Championship.
 
Hopefully, this story makes you want to grip it and rip it like John.
 

 
He’s hard to root against since he’s such a good guy and truly one of a kind player. Here’s to him staying healthy and entertaining us for years to come.
 
What’s your favorite moment of John Daly?
 

Let us know in the comments below!
 
 
Written by Michael Leonard

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