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. Guest

    I love how this article is front and center on CNN, but the Marion Barry article that talks about how he wants Asians (and now other non-Blacks) out of his DC district is buried in the middle of the story column.

    Awesome, CNN. No racial bias double standard thereat all.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest2

      Get over the bias thing and get over yourself. Every race (yes white people too) has their embarrassing idiots that they have to claim. Blacks have Marion Barry, today whites have John Daly.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MNTaxpayer

      Sometimes a story is just a story. There dosen't have to be a great conspiracy behind every story written or pubished, your reaction is really very silly.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Majority

      Maybe thats because most people do not care for the rantings of some crack head.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earthling

      I dont think you know what the word bias means.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Nobody wants to read about that crap, idiot. John Daly is the man and you show him some respect.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • squincher

      sometimes Guest, story placement is just story placement. besides, that Marion Barry story has been on the site for a few days now.

      methinks ye little tin hat rests too tight on thy head.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Ohhhhhhh, you're right. I've never seen CNN rotate stories on their website throughout the day. Completely weird.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • DON

      EVERY NOW AND THEN I GO TO THE BEACH AND MINGLE WITH THE POOR

      April 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Whoop Deee Dooooooooo

    Guest – The Marion Berry story is old. It's been on the front page for days. Chill.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. buffalo

    " Oh, how the mighty have fallen!" Whiskey wins again.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mario.suarez59

    good for him he is not harming anyone

    April 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James in Calgary, Canada

    Least he's working trying to make an honest living and hasn't resorted to reality tv (yet!). Good luck, John.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. daveinla

    John Daley – cool guy- DUCK and COVER!!!!! Here comes a flying club!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DF

    love daly good guy..at least he's not stealing money from taxpayers like some of u losers, LOSERS

    April 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pacman357

    Wow. That is so sad. I can't help but wonder why people even want souveneirs from him. Sure, he enjoyed a great deal of success...a long time ago. In doing some checking, it appears he even got ranked as high as #18 golfer in the world at one point. However, he is so far removed from any real success that he has had to resort to playing in Timbuktoo and selling autographs out of an RV. It's just truly sad to see how far he has sunk, given how much talent he had at one point.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      Doesn't everyone who has fallen from "grace" deserve a renewed chance to regain their self respect and their own self worth. I'm all for joking around but t"his blog and some people of this country are so negitive and seem to can't wait to ponce on someone's mis-fortune.
      I weep for our humanity.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. M. Edward

    I think Permalink's on something, he can't seem to sit still during this interview, a Cardinal Rule when interviewing, make sure the focus is on the person being interviewed and not distract the audience by having the jitters. Good luck in rehab.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. squincher

    come on people, give poor John a break. yes, he's not good enough to get invited to play at the Masters, but hey, he's making an honest living. and he will be playing at the British Open as well as other PGA Tour events.

    btw, that marion barry story has been there for awhile. knock it off with the crazy conspiracy rants.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Beadlesaz

    Two words come to mind with respect to John Daly – drunk & loser.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. smartypants

    Daly had a few good tournaments 20-odd years ago. Like most former champs, he stays involved in his sport long after his hey-day has passed. So what's the story? I just think CNN and the rest of the media are trying to harrass someone they regard as a redneck.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe Blow

    I'll drink to that!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Guest2

    I love how commenters to this golf article feel the need to bring up Marion Barry.

    Awesome, commenters. Way to insert racial bias double standard in any context.

    April 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Donald in CA

    When the dogs start nipping at your heels its hard to get them off.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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