Golf is not a game known for it’s larger than life personalities. However, over the decades, there have been some colorful characters that entertained us on the links, such as Chi-Chi Rodriguez and his famous putter as a sword celebration. And let’s not forget Lee Trevino who was renowned for his one-liners such as “pressure is playing for $10 when you don’t have a dime in your pocket.” But there is one legendary linksman that even the most casual of golf fans know about—John Daly.
Who is John Daly?
John Daly looks like any good ol’ boy you’ve ever encountered on the golf course or at the bar throwing back whiskey. His blond hair fashioned into a football helmet is only overpowered visually by his pants and rotund waistline. Daly is the hope and dream of every overweight, past his prime dad that wants to be a professional athlete. If that guy can do it, who can’t?
Before he became John Daly—golf sideshow—he was a serious golfer. He played golf at the University of Arkansas where he was told by the coach that to join the team, he would have to lose weight. He managed to lose 60 pounds. This feat is what slowly turned him into a legend, as he claimed that to lose the weight he went on a diet of popcorn and Jack Daniel’s. Plus, after complaining about hunger pains and cravings during the diet, the same coach who told him to lose weight also mentioned that smoking curbs your appetite. So he also took up smoking cigarettes—a habit that persists to this day.
His Short but Memorable Career
When Daly left U of A, before graduating, he joined the Ben Hogan Tour and got his PGA Tour Pro card in 1991. That same year, he won the PGA Tour Championship and burst onto the scene with his long drives, earning the nickname “Long John.” In 1993, he came in third at the Master’s, and in 1995, he won the British Open in a playoff. Because he was so successful early in his profession, one could only assume he would have a long career. But it didn’t work out that way. Daly ran into some legal troubles, and his time in the spotlight was brief.
A New Claim to Fame
However, his public image has since shifted. Today, John Daly still makes a statement on the course—a fashion statement. He has pants that are louder than a Metallica concert with an attitude to match. They come in plaids, day-glow oranges, toxic greens, and bright yellows that assault the eyes. His style harkens back to golf in the 1970s when people wore hideous pants like this unironically.
Attempting to over-analyze John Daly’s fashion sense can’t be done—it’s worthy of scrutiny. Thanks to his pants and cloud of cigarette smoke that follows him everywhere, he is unmissable on the course. Daly still has his long drive, partakes in hard-drinking and smoking, and has a personality more suitable for the bowling alley. However, he has dropped some weight and is trying to recapture some past glory. Whether or not he does it remains to be seen, but if nothing else, he will go down in history as a bad fashion icon.
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