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. ac

    Marion Barry should have been in jail to this day, making car license plates for all of us.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      Not sure what your comment has to do with this story. But hey, random is a lost art

      April 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DON

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

      April 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reilleyfam

    Good for John = alive and unincarcerated.

    People accuse this of being a "fall from grace" but it's not, even with his major victories he was always a marginal player & a party animal guy. He'd likely admit that just being healthy, not in jail, relatively sober and not bankrupt are victories for him.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. glu

    Trayvon who?

    April 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CMan

    Down by the river!

    April 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt W

      hahahhahaha!

      April 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    I might buy something but not from a guy with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.....

    April 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. vp2000

    such a waste of god given talent. Mobil trailer trash.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FargnIcehole

    I bet that cup on the table is Jack with a splash of Coke.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Spock500

    I'm somewhat surprised that these photos did not show a dialysis machine in the background.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Let me show ya somethin

    Hopefully John can curb that 'tendency" to wanna increase his alcohol to blood ratio. That is the ONLY way he will fully come back and HEY he might even pick up an interested sponsor along the way.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    He's living his life on his terms. For most of us the last time somebody asked for our autograph we were checking out at Walmart. Party animal? I'm envious!

    April 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. snowdogg

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

    Ah yes, perpetual dream of an athlete... making a comeback.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DCobello

    It takes a lot of guts. He knows what he is worth. Do what your heart tells you to do.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. phillybear

    I'd rather see pictures of the girls working in the restaraunt.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EATABIRD

    He'll be the next person found face-down, in his bathtub.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sonbo

    This is such a non-story. Why does CCN waste space with this, and totally ignore the recent death of Chief Jay Strongbow? Jay Strongbow was a man who performed in front of millions, and always went out of his way to spend time and say a special hello to the little kids and cripples who went to the matches. He was a true, native American hero, who will be missed by many-not some loser re-selling golfballs he fished out of the water traps and then signs.
    RIP CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW

    April 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
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