John Daly entertains on Lunch with a Legend on Instagram
May 01, 2020
By Chris Richards, PGATOUR.COM
- May 01, 2020
Lunch with a Legend: John Daly
He taught Kid Rock how to play golf, Brooks Koepka calls him Uncle John, and he’s collaborating with artists like Jake Owen on an upcoming album.
The legend of John Daly may never end.
The two-time major winner was the latest player to be interviewed as part of the PGA TOUR Champions “Lunch with a Legend” series Thursday on Instagram Live. Two days after he celebrated his 54th birthday, the 2017 Insperity Invitational champion showed why he’s always been a fan favorite during the wide-ranging, 40-minute interview.
Answers have been edited for clarity and length.
How did you develop your unique golf swing?
I started when I was 4 and the set of golf clubs that I started with was a men’s regular set, so the shaft was really long. I wasn’t that strong, so I’d get it up and it would just fall. That’s how I got the long back swing, that’s about as easy as I can sum it up. I just didn’t change; I didn’t really have any lessons in my life until later on. Rick Ross said he’d never change it when I met him at about 15 or 16. Everybody said I wasn’t going to make it unless I changed that backswing. When I saw that club in the corner of my eye, that’s when I knew to come down and that’s the way I taught myself, so it would have been impossible to change.
What were some memorable cash games you played out on TOUR?
Me and David Duval played (Phil) Mickelson and John Huston at Augusta in a practice round. We were down a little bit and pressed on 18. We were playing our best ball and me and David Duval were 12- or 13-under par and we’re getting our butts beat. John hits his tee shot way right, comes out of the trees. We’re waiting on him, we can’t find him, and the next thing we see the ball come up – remember he made a 2 in the tournament one year? – well he dunked it on us in the practice round. So, we lost a little bit of money there (laughter).
Who are your favorite players to watch on the PGA TOUR?
When people ask me who out there plays like you do, I always say Rahmy (Jon Rahm). He’s a lot bigger, taller, probably hits it a lot farther than I did back in the day, but he’s aggressive and I like his game. Rickie Fowler is my guy that I’ve always said is going to start winning majors soon. Jason Day, Dustin, all of them man.
Brooks Koepka, I’ve got him calling me Uncle John now because me and his dad got along so well at the PGA in New York last year. I love Brooks, but I love his dad more though, man. He is one cool cat, and he doesn’t push Brooks. He’s kind of like the father I am to my son – I stay away, do your thing, and I respect him for that. We had a few beers together, I had played early on Friday and I missed the cut, and he sat down with me and my family for a little bit. And then he’s like “Oh my God, Brooks is probably on 6 now, I need to go watch my son play. I’ve had too much fun sitting here.” And Brooks is leading the tournament and goes on to win (laughter).
Who are your favorite celebrities to play golf with?
I like celebrities that I can say I got into the game of golf, and two stand out: Jamey Johnson and Kid Rock. For years, those two guys said “I ain’t chasing that white ball around.” And I told Kid Rock, “Man, you’re a member at about six country clubs in this area. Why are you a member?” He said, “I like to go out on the patio and smoke cigars and watch people get frustrated playing golf.” And then the Champions Tour comes back to Warwick Hills for The Ally Challenge, and I said “You live just down the road, I’ve been staying here a few years, play in the Pro-Am with me.” I talked him into it and of course, he comes out in overalls and a t-shirt and I’ve got people saying I’ve got to get him dressed right. I said, “I got him out here and I love him for doing this, just please let one slide,” and eventually they did (laughter). What people don’t understand is that Kid’s an athlete. He played baseball, he played sports, he’s not just a rock and roller. He doesn’t jump in the air 3 or 4 feet at his shows for nothing, he’s an athlete, and he’s been hooked ever since. And the other is Jamey Johnson. I met him when he opened for Kid in Orlando, and two years later he calls me from Oklahoma after doing a show and said “Hey, I’m bringing my bus down, you got a place to park it?” I said, “Yeah, come on down. What are you going to do?” He goes, “Well, I’m going to play golf.” Man, what are you talking about? “Yeah, I’ve been playing golf and, oh by the way, I bought a golf course in Mobile, Alabama, too.” I’m going “Holy cow, I thought you hated golf?” He comes down and we spend the whole day at the range here in Dardanelle, and he’s hooked. So that’d be the two celebrities that I can say I got playing golf.
How did you begin playing guitar?
Larry Rinker, in Erie, Pennsylvania, said “You need to go get a guitar, get a cheap one with a little amp and you can learn how to play some chords and I’ll help you.” We go into this guitar store and I buy this $9,000 beautiful Stratocaster Fender, one of 19. He goes, “What are you doing?” and I say, “Well, if I’m going to learn, I might as well learn on a good guitar, right?”
I’m still not very good, but I know a little bit enough to write a few songs. With all the great guys that I’ve met in Nashville and all over the world, they’re going to help me write this last album and a lot of my buddies are going to be on it. The album’s going to be called “This Old Road’s Coming to an End,” and it could be a negative-positive kind of thing, but it’s probably going to be more positive. Kid said I could use his studio, he’ll write one with me. Jamey Johnson, Jake Owen, Randy Houser, Dan Tyminski – there’s a lot of them that want to do it with me and God bless them, to take their time to do this with me. I’m a one-hit wonder with “Hit it Hard,” but hey, I’m a golfer and I’ve got a hit out there, I didn’t do too bad. I suck at it, but it’s a hobby and I love it. It’s like they like to play golf, it’s a hobby to them, and they know I’m passionate about music, I’m just not very good at it. But to be able to do it, to say I did it with some of the greats, would be pretty cool.