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John Daly, Golfing (and Living) His Own Way

Pro golfer John Daly tells <em>Fresh Air</em> that his high-school coach told him to start smoking — as a weight-loss strategy.
Pro golfer John Daly tells <em>Fresh Air</em> that his high-school coach told him to start smoking — as a weight-loss strategy.

Pro golfer John Daly has won tournaments on five continents, including two of the PGA tour's four majors. He's also gambled away a couple of fortunes, trashed various hotel rooms, houses and cars, married four times, and downed enough booze to land himself in a string of emergency rooms and rehab clinics. These days, he says, he lives on Diet Coke and Marlboro Lights. "I guess you could say," Daly writes in his recent memoir, that "I'm not exactly a poster boy for moderation."

Daly's behavior has earned him fines and suspensions from the PGA, but fans adore him — in part because he's a plain-spoken Arkansas boy who doesn't try to cover up his flaws. Also because people love to watch him hit a ball: He's a huge bear of a man blessed with the flexibility of a fencer, and when he turns his shoulder into a swing and releases his power into a golf ball, it travels eye-popping distances.

In addition to that memoir — titled My Life In and Out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All that Bull**** You Think You Know About Me — Daly has just published a golfer's guide. The title, characteristically, is Golf My Own Damn Way: A Real Guy's Guide to Chopping Ten Strokes Off Your Score.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.