April 6th, 2012
11:47 AM ET

John Daly sells souvenirs, aims for Masters return

Augusta, Georgia (CNN) - While most of golf’s greatest players plied their trade on the grounds of Augusta National this week, one worked the parking lot in front of the nearby Hooters restaurant.

John Daly, the winner of the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open, is spending Masters week selling shirts, hats and golf balls with his lion logo from tables set up outside his luxury motor home.

It’s a strategy to connect with fans on two levels.

“What sells I put on the website, what doesn’t, I don’t,” businessman Daly says of the display of wares.

John Daly signs an autograph outside his motor home near Augusta National Golf Club.

But buy here and you get to connect with Daly himself, and for golf fans it’s hard to resist the opportunity to get up close with the man who delighted them on the course.

Daly said he works 12- to 15-hour days outside Hooters to meet the demand.

“It’s warm, loving fans that have been with me forever,” he said. And the motor home gig seems to work well. He’s been at it since 1999, he said.

But don’t think that Daly has made the transition from golfer to salesman full-time.

Far from it. He played overseas earlier this year, globetrotting from the Persian Gulf to India, Morocco and Italy.

He plans to be back on the course next week for the PGA Tour event in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the first of five events he’ll play in the U.S. before heading to Britian in July for the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

“Right now my game is starting to come around,” Daly said.

He said his play is the best it’s been in two years and almost where he wants it to be.

“It’s so close to being really, really good,” he said.

And then where does Daly want to take his trade? About a mile up the road from the Hooters parking lot.

“I want to be back inside those gates and play Augusta,” he said.

Augusta can feel like a theme park

Sports snacking on $14

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Filed under: Golf • Sports
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. tuma

    Hope to see you on the other side of the ropes next article John!

    April 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • john smiith

      Amen,Bro

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john smiith

    So sad. A ton of talent, but even that couldn't overcome alcoholism.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      he is still on the tour, just not at the Masters

      April 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • hushupp

      Thanks for telling me what the problem is. CNN did not bother to explain what happened to John Daly.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shannen

    What's the word I'm looking for ... creepy? weird? admirable? bizarre? interesting? curious?

    Maybe all of the above.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wish the best

    I was rooting for him till I saw the Cowboys stick behind him! LOL I still wish him the best and hope to see him on the playing side next time.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Corey

    Wow – he's my age but he looks like he's 55.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerome Horowitz

    One day at a time.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lewy

    “Right now my game is starting to come around,” Daly said.

    They don't call him 'Jughead John' for nothing.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JP

    He's probably got a MIL riding on Tiger to win. LOLOL Gotta love John Daly.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. VR

    Is that a Jack and coke in that glass?

    April 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin

    Be humble people. There's nothing wrong with this change in profession. I bet he gets an awesome margin rate on this stuff, and an awesome turn based on his marketing tool... him.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kingofthenet

    It was GREAT watching him on the Tour, with a Marlboro hanging out of his mouth, a flask of Jack in his back pocket and a three day beard.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • yikes

      You said it!! Golf just isnt the same without John! Cant wait to see him back on the course.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eddie O.

    Wonder if JD will be hanging out with Barry Switzer anytime soon at Downstream Casino! Good times!

    April 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the_dude

    Always loved watching you golf

    April 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Russ

    It is admirable that he can still play at that level, and is still invited. It would seem he is getting his life together. He is to be congratulated, not scorned. Also, at any time, any of us can be thrown one of life's curves and have to dig ourselves out of a huge hole. Don't criticize unless you want criticism yourself.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Farty McCloud

    JD is the only guy that can throw out some toxic fumes better than me.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
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