The world of golf is known for its pristine courses, meticulous attire, and laser focus. But then there’s John Daly, a golfer who defied convention and carved his path on the fairway – sometimes with a cigarette in hand and a Diet Coke by his side.

Daly’s story is one of prodigious talent, shocking victories, personal struggles, and an undeniable charisma that continues to captivate fans. So, grab a club (or a soda) and settle in as we delve into the life and career of this legendary golfer.

Main Key Points:

  • John Daly’s rise to fame as a long-hitting, wild-card golfer.
  • His struggles with alcohol and how he overcame them.
  • Daly’s two major championship victories: were the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship.
  • His unconventional playing style and personality.
  • Daly’s ongoing legacy in the world of golf.

The “Long Bomb” Arrives: John Daly’s Early Career

John Daly was born in Arkansas in 1967. Unlike many golfers who start young, Daly didn’t pick up a club until his teens. However, his natural talent was undeniable. He possessed a powerful swing that could launch the ball incredible distances, earning him the nickname “Long Bomb.”

John Daly

Daly turned professional in 1989 and quickly gained attention for his unorthodox style. He sported loud clothes, had a penchant for cigars (later switching to cigarettes), and wasn’t afraid to show his emotions on the course. Here, we can see the search queries people might have:

  • When did John Daly turn professional?
  • What is John Daly’s nickname?

From Underdog to Champion: Daly’s Shocking 1991 PGA Championship Win

In 1991, the golfing world witnessed the arrival of John Daly on the biggest stage. As a relatively unknown golfer, Daly entered the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Here, another interesting search query pops up:

  • Where did John Daly win his first major?

Daly defied all odds, captivating audiences with his long drives and clutch putting. He ended up in a sudden-death playoff against veteran golfer Bruce Lietzke, ultimately sinking a birdie putt on the first extra hole to claim his first major championship. This victory not only cemented Daly’s place in golf history but also marked the beginning of a rollercoaster career.

Facing Challenges: Daly’s Struggles and Triumphs

Daly’s success wasn’t without its hurdles. He openly discussed his battles with alcohol addiction, which significantly impacted his performance at times. Here, people might search for:

  • What are John Daly’s struggles?

Despite these challenges, Daly displayed remarkable resilience. He bounced back to win the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews, another prestigious major title. This victory solidified his status as a golfing force, even with his unconventional approach.

A Different Kind of Champion: John Daly’s Legacy

John Daly’s legacy extends far beyond his two major wins. He brought a sense of excitement and entertainment to the often-staid world of golf. Fans were drawn to his charisma, his long drives, and his ability to connect with them on a personal level. Here are some search queries related to Daly’s impact:

  • How did John Daly impact golf?
  • What is John Daly known for?

Daly continues to play professionally, inspiring a new generation of golfers who appreciate his unique style. While some may criticize his unconventional approach, there’s no denying his talent and his ability to captivate audiences.

The Controversial Golfer: John Daly

John Daly, often referred to as “Long John” for his prodigious drives off the tee, is a two-time major champion. But it’s not just his golfing prowess that sets him apart. Daly’s lifestyle choices have made him a lightning rod in the sport. Here are the key points about this fascinating figure:

1. Chain-Smoking on the Course

Daly is notorious for lighting up cigarettes during rounds of golf. In a practice round leading up to a tournament, he once smoked an astonishing 21 cigarettes! His love for nicotine has been a constant companion throughout his career.

2. Diet Coke Devotee

But it’s not just tobacco that Daly indulges in. His affinity for Diet Coke is legendary. At one point, he consumed a staggering 26-28 cans of the fizzy beverage daily. Now, he’s down to a mere 10-12 cans—a significant reduction, thanks to a lap-band procedure that curbed his intake.

3. No Alcohol, Please

Surprisingly, Daly hasn’t touched alcohol in nearly six years. For a man with an obsessive personality, this feat is commendable. His focus has shifted from booze to Diet Coke, and he’s managed to stay away from the bottle despite life’s roller coaster ride.

The Debate: Smoking on the PGA Tour

Is smoking allowed on the PGA Tour? It’s a ticklish subject. Golf courses epitomize nature’s splendor, and some argue that smoking tarnishes their pristine beauty. Yet, others contend that the vast expanse of a golf course minimizes discomfort to fellow players. The PGA Tour itself doesn’t have specific rules regarding smoking; it defers to individual course policies. Some courses ban smoking outright, while others designate areas for lighting up. Judging wind direction based on smoke, however, could be construed as cheating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About John Daly

  • Q: Is John Daly still playing golf?

A: Yes, Daly continues to play professional golf, though on a limited basis due to age and health concerns.

  • Q: How many majors has John Daly won?

A: Daly has won two major championships: the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship.

  • Q: What is John Daly known for?

A: Daly is known for his powerful driving distance, his unconventional playing style, and his struggles with alcohol addiction.

  • Q: Does John Daly still smoke?

A: While Daly was known for smoking cigarettes on the course in his younger years, he has reportedly cut back significantly in recent times.

  • Q: What is John Daly’s net worth?

A: Estimates of John Daly’s net worth vary, but it is likely in the millions of dollars.


John Daly remains an enigma—a golfer who defies norms, smokes, and sips Diet Coke. His relatable personality and outlandish habits continue to captivate fans. So, the next time you’re on the course, keep an eye out for the old golfer with a cigarette in one hand and a can of Diet Coke in the other. Long John’s legend lives on.

By Lana

Lana Lana has been swinging a golf club for close to 30 years. After playing Division 1 College golf, she went on to turn professional and coach hundreds of golfers to become better players. Lana lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children and continues to write, teach, and learn about golf daily. As a scratch golfer, Lana has actionable tips and advice to help you take your game to the next level without over complicating it.

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