How Good Was John Daly?

Simon Mire

Updated on:

How Good Was John Daly

John Daly is a name that has become synonymous with both greatness and unpredictability in the world of golf. Known for his powerful swings and larger-than-life personality, Daly has become a fan favorite over the years.

But just how good was John Daly on the course? In this article, we’ll delve into his career and achievements to try and answer that question.

Early Career

John Daly, popularly known as “Long John,” is a professional golfer from the United States. Despite having a troubled personal life, Daly has been a prominent figure on the PGA Tour circuit for more than three decades. Daly’s career has been marked by his incredible power off the tee and his flamboyant personality on and off the course.

Daly started playing golf at a young age, and he showed an exceptional talent for the game. He grew up in Dardanelle, Arkansas, and spent most of his childhood playing golf with his father, who was a club pro. Daly’s talent was evident from a young age, and he continued to improve throughout his teenage years.

After a successful amateur career, Daly turned professional in 1987. He wasn’t an immediate success and struggled with consistency in his early years on tour. However, things started to change for Daly in 1991 when he won the PGA Championship as an alternate.

Daly’s win at the PGA Championship was a shock to the golf world. He was ranked outside the top 100 in the world at the time, and he hadn’t won a tournament on the PGA Tour. His win at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana catapulted him to stardom and made him an overnight sensation.

Daly followed up his PGA Championship win with another victory at the B.C. Open in 1992. He continued to play well over the next few years, and he won several more tournaments, including the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrew’s.

Daly’s rise to fame was not just because of his golfing ability. He was a larger-than-life figure who captivated fans with his personality and his style on and off the course. Daly was known for playing with a cigarette in his mouth, and he was often seen wearing colorful clothes that stood out in a sea of conservative golf outfits.

In conclusion, John Daly’s career has been marked by his incredible talent on the golf course and his flamboyant personality off it.

He has been a fan favorite for more than three decades, and his impact on the game of golf is indisputable. Despite his personal struggles, Daly remains an inspiration to many, and his legacy in the sport will be remembered for years to come.

Major Championships

John Daly is one of the most exciting golfers in history. He is known for his big drive, colorful personality, and unique style both on and off the course. Despite his reputation for erratic play, Daly has managed to win two major championships, the 1991 PGA Championship, and the 1995 British Open.

Daly’s Record for High Scores

While known for his incredible driving ability and exciting play, Daly has also amassed a reputation for high scores. On the PGA Tour alone, Daly has made a score of at least 10 on one hole on a whopping 15 occasions.

His most infamous big number came at the Bay Hill Invitational in 1998 when he hit 3-wood into the water six times on the par-5 sixth hole in the final round and took an 18.

1991 PGA Championship victory

Daly’s first major championship victory came at the 1991 PGA Championship. Daly was the ninth alternate to make the field and only got in the tournament when Nick Price withdrew.

Daly’s victory was one of the most stunning in golf history. He won by three shots and became the first player since Jack Nicklaus to win a major championship debut.

Daly won the tournament with a score of 12-under-par, and he was only the fourth player in PGA Championship history to finish double digits under par.

1995 British Open Win

Daly’s second major championship came at the 1995 British Open. Daly won the tournament with a score of six under par, beating Italy’s Costantino Rocca in a playoff. Daly dominated the front nine of the final round, shooting a 4-under-par 31.

However, Rocca made a late charge, birdieing two of the final three holes to force a playoff. Daly won the playoff on the fourth hole, making a birdie while Rocca made a bogey.

Daly’s Other Major Performances

Daly’s success in major championships is somewhat limited, but he has had a few other close calls. He finished second at the 1993 PGA Championship, losing to Paul Azinger by one stroke.

Daly also finished tied for third at the 1994 U.S. Open and tied for fourth at the 2005 PGA Championship.

John Daly is one of the most unpredictable and exciting golfers in history. While his reputation for high scores and erratic play precedes him, Daly has managed to win two major championships.

His victories at the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open remain two of the most surprising and exhilarating in golf history. Regardless of his ultimate success in golf, Daly’s unique style and personality have made him a fan favorite.

Long-Drive and Other Achievements

Daly’s Reputation as a Long-ball Hitter

John Daly’s reputation as one of the longest drivers of the golf ball in history is well deserved. He burst onto the PGA Tour scene in 1991 by averaging an incredible 288.9 yards per drive.

At the 1997 PGA Championship, Daly hit a 380-yard tee shot on the famous 18th hole at Valhalla Golf Club, setting up a birdie that clinched his second major championship.

Daly has won numerous long-drive competitions over the years and made a name for himself as one of the most exciting players to watch in golf.

Other Notable Achievements and Awards

In addition to his two major championships, Daly has won a total of five PGA Tour titles and four European Tour events. He has also represented the United States in numerous international competitions, including the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.

Daly won the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2004 after overcoming alcohol and gambling addictions, and in 2016 he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Daly’s Impact on the Sport Beyond Wins and Losses

Daly’s impact on golf goes far beyond his two major championships and various other victories. He has always been known as an entertaining and charismatic figure, drawing crowds to the course with his long drives and unpredictable play.

He has also been praised for his honesty and authenticity, both on and off the course, and has used his platform to raise awareness for causes such as childhood cancer and diabetes.

Daly has also been a trailblazer in terms of style and fashion in golf. He is known for his colorful outfits, including the iconic “loudmouth” pants that he often wears on the course. He has helped to break down traditional barriers and stereotypes in golf and has paved the way for a more diverse and inclusive future for the sport.

Overall, John Daly’s impact on golf is undeniable. From his long drives and impressive victories to his unique style and charitable work, Daly has left his mark on the sport in countless ways.

Controversies and Off-Course Issues

Daly’s History Of Alcohol and Addiction

John Daly has had a well-documented history of alcohol and addiction. In his 2006 autobiography, “My Life In and Out of the Rough,” Daly shared his struggles with alcohol, saying that he had been sober for six years at that point.

However, in 2008, he admitted to having relapsed and went to rehab. Daly has been arrested several times for incidents related to his drinking, including a DUI in 2008. He has also been open about his struggles with food addiction and compulsive gambling.

Multiple suspensions and disqualifications

Daly’s on-course behavior has often led to disciplinary action from golf organizations. He has been suspended multiple times for conduct issues, including a six-month suspension from the PGA Tour in 1994 for conduct unbecoming a professional in which he threw a club during a tournament.

He has also been disqualified from tournaments for various rules violations, most notably at the 1999 Australian Open when he was disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard.

Public controversies and personal struggles

Daly has been involved in a number of public controversies and personal struggles throughout his career. In addition to his alcohol and addiction issues, he has had several high-profile incidents, including a 1995 incident in which he smashed a fan’s camera on the course.

He has also been involved in messy divorces and had financial struggles, including filing for bankruptcy in 2006.

In recent years, Daly has been more open about his mental health struggles, including his battle with depression and anxiety. He has also faced criticism for his political views, including his support of Donald Trump and his criticism of former President Barack Obama.

Daly’s controversies and off-course issues have often overshadowed his on-course success and made him one of the most polarizing figures in golf.

Legacy and Impact

Daly’s Place in Golf History

John Daly, famously known as “Long John”, is one of the most iconic golfers of all time. He burst onto the scene in 1991 with his stunning victory at the PGA Championship, where he was a ninth alternate and the last qualifier.

Daly’s driving skill is what separated him from his contemporaries. He was considered one of the longest hitters in golf history, and his length off the tee helped him win two major championships—the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship.

Daly brought excitement to the golf world with his long drives and flamboyant style, making him a household name around the world.

Despite his success, Daly is a controversial figure in golf. He has had his share of problems on and off the course, including issues with alcohol and gambling. Daly has also been outspoken about his struggles with depression and has been open about his addiction to painkillers.

Influence on the Sport and Future Generations

Daly has had a tremendous impact on the sport of golf and future generations. He proved that golfers don’t have to fit the traditional mold of a golfer to be successful. Daly’s unique style and approach to the game made him a fan favorite, and he helped to create a new audience for golf.

His massive drive and down-to-earth personality made the game more accessible to a wider audience, attracting new fans to the sport.

Daly’s influence can also be felt in the way golf is played today. His distance off the tee set the standard for other long hitters like Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson.

Daly inspired a new generation of golfers who saw that there was no single “right” way to play the game. He showed that it was okay to be different and that success could come in many forms.

Final Thoughts on His Career and Legacy

John Daly’s career and legacy will always be remembered as one of the most exciting and influential in golf history. Despite his struggles on and off the course, Daly remains an icon in the game, and his impact on the sport and future generations cannot be overstated.

Daly’s raw power and fierce independence set him apart from his contemporaries, and his influence can still be felt in modern golf today. Daly will go down as one of the game’s most unique and memorable players.

Has John Daly Ever Won a Major?

John Daly has won two Major golf championships in his career. He won his first Major, PGA Championship, in 1991 at the age of 25. Daly’s victory at the PGA Championship was considered an upset by many.

He followed it up with another Major win at The Open Championship in 1995. Daly was known for his aggressive and unconventional playing style. He often took risky shots and was known to hit the ball extremely far off the tee.

Daly struggled with alcoholism and personal issues throughout his career. He was known for his colorful clothing and often wore loud, brightly patterned pants on the course.

Despite his success, Daly never became a consistent top player on the tour. He remains a fan favorite and continues to compete on various tours to this day.

How Far Can John Daly Hit a Golf Ball?

John Daly’s Reputation as a Long-drive Specialist

Daly is known for his ability to hit the golf ball extremely long distances, earning him the nickname “Long John” Daly.

Daly’s Longest-recorded Drives

Daly has hit several drives that have measured more than 400 yards, including a 498-yard drive at the 1997 Mercedes Championships.

Factors That Contribute to Daly’s Long Drives

Daly’s exceptional strength and his unorthodox swing contribute to his ability to hit the ball at such great distances.

Daly’s Use of Technology and Equipment

Daly is also known for using high-tech equipment, including drivers with large clubheads and graphite shafts, to help him hit the ball farther.

Daly’s Legacy as a Long-drive Champion

Daly’s ability to hit the ball long distances has made him an icon in the world of golf, inspiring a new generation of players to strive for greater distance off the tee.

To Recap

John Daly may not have had the most consistent career in golf, but he certainly left his mark on the game. His long drives and unorthodox approach to the sport endeared him to fans and made him one of the most recognizable names in golf.

While his bouts of inconsistency often kept him from reaching his full potential, Daly’s love for the game and his never-give-up attitude will always be remembered. Regardless of his wins and losses, Daly’s legacy will continue to inspire golfers and fans alike for generations to come.

Photo of author

Simon Mire

Hi, I am a golf expert at Curated. I have been playing golf for more than 10 years and have a deep understanding of the sport. I am passionate about the game and love to help people improve their game. I write articles on golf tips, equipment reviews, and other related topics for various websites. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment