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)

    some of their games sucks

    April 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joe

    Go John GO!
    The closest thing we have to a real life happy gilmore.
    I'll never forget watching the officials forcing him to tee off early on a par 4 and the people who were putting on the green at the time throwing up their hands as they watched the ball roll by.

    April 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Wont someone pass me a piece of pie

      April 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |

    Without all the vices this guy would still be yanking them down the fairway in prime time. It's kinda sad to see him struggle like this, but he's staying positive and working hard. More than many people can say. Keep the faith John!

    April 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Goodguy1

    He is a good man, John, Stop Smoking! NO ALCOHOL! You will win again. Stay away from the partying people that don't care about you. Get away from that trap. You got love man! Right kind of love. Go get a big trophy. We love you, Kev

    April 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doug Ericson

    John has been doing great overseas. I hope he does well in the US. It would be great to see him contend in a Major again.

    April 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pickels

    It takes a lot of humility to do what he is doing. The good kind of humility. Keep it up John. Good luck.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. edocol

    John is always going to do his own thing. Live and let live, and keep on gripping it and ripping it JD.

    April 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Donald in CA

    when the dogs start nipping at your heels its hard to shake them off.

    April 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tomshay

    In addition to the Cowboys and our Hogs, where is your Sand Lizard? Go Hogs! DHS C/O '70!

    April 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
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