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.
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.