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John Daly

Family Moved To Arkansas

Daly moved from California to Arkansas when his father, Jim, landed a job with a nuclear power plant in Dardanelle. John Daly hit golf balls at age four, but also

John Daly

began drinking at age nine. He won the adult club championship at Lake of the Woods in Virginia when he was still underage and was miffed when the club's sponsors refused to give him the trophy.

Daly was a prized recruit when he came to the University of Arkansas in 1984, but also weighed 235 pounds. Coach Steve Loy wanted the golfer to lose 60 pounds and insisted on a restrictive diet and daily weigh-ins. Daly dropped the weight using a liquid diet of his own devising—Jack Daniels, right out of the bottle. "A fifth a day," Daly told Mark Seal of Golf Digest.

In 1987 Daly dropped out of Arkansas and turned pro. He competed in mini-tournaments, winning $6,300 in his pro debut, the Missouri Open—after borrowing $300 from his mother. Daly estimates he won $40,000 before even enrolling in PGA Tour school. But he still drank heavily, often carrying whiskey with him in his golf cart. Sometimes his drinking led to violence. Nicknamed "Wild Thing," Daly destroyed a hotel in South Africa in 1990 while on the verge of divorcing his first wife, Dale.

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