“My Life In and Out of the Rough” by John Daly

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I was at the mall recently and decided to pop into Barnes & Noble to do some shopping. I’m not much of a reader, but I’m always on the lookout for something to keep me busy while I’m perched on the bowl snapping logs. Because I have the reading comprehension abilities of Rachel Jeantel, my search was limited to the sports section. I wasn’t expecting to find anything too interesting, but as I was flipping through the autobiography section, I stumbled across a diamond in the rough: “My Life In and Out of the Rough” by John Daly.

The book is only about 200 pages and it gives a first-hand account of Daly’s life through 2006. Unfortunately, since the book is eight years old, it doesn’t discuss any of his recent foibles, specifically when the Winston-Salem police found him catatonic in the bushes outside a local Hooters. However, even though the book is slightly dated, there are still tons of stories and quotes that will keep you entertained. I’ve cherry-picked the best parts of the book, so you can spend your time and money on more worthwhile activities–like huffing insect repellant, harassing senior citizens, and soliciting prostitutes on backpage.com.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with John Daly (German scatophiles, level-3 sex offenders, liberals), here is a brief excerpt from the book that perfectly encapsulates his life. At a 2005 PGA Tour event, JD was sitting around the clubhouse with some buddies tossing back a few highballs. All of the sudden, Tiger Woods walks in decked out in workout apparel. Daly yells out, “Hey man, don’t you ever get tired of that workout shit? Why don’t you come over here and have a few beers with us and hang out.” Tiger responds, “John, if I had your talent, I wouldn’t need to work out.”

John Daly was born with all the natural abilities in the world but has been harshly criticized for letting his off-the-course lifestyle affect his play, causing him to never fully reach his potential. I would quibble with that assessment, arguing that he has far exceeded his potential. He’s an uncouth redneck from rural Arkansas with a bleached mullet, rubenesque figure, and serious chemical dependency issues, yet he’s been bag-deep in more top-shelf pussy than most of us will ever see in a lifetime, let alone get our grubby little mitts on. But I’m guessing that is not what most of his critics are talking about when they quip about unreached potential. They are referring to his play on the course, and to that, they probably have a point.

Throughout his career, the PGA Tour ordered him to go to rehab seven times; placed him on probation six times; cited him for “conduct unbecoming a professional” 11 times; and fined him 21 times for “failure to give best efforts.” But in the midst of all of that, he still managed to become one of only six golfers in the history of the game to win two majors before turning 30.

For the uninitiated, JD has had issues with the sauce for as long as he’s been a public figure, but he acquired the taste for strong drink long before he became a household name. “Like most kids, I used to sneak sips of Dad’s beer beginning when I was 8. But unlike a lot of kids, I loved it. I just absolutely loved it and couldn’t get enough.” I’m assuming “sips” is a euphemism for “six-pack of Hamm’s.” Surprisingly, his first alcohol-related incident that caused him any trouble didn’t come until age 17. He was DQ’d from a tournament when an official smelled booze on his breath. Officials searched his bag and found a fifth of Jack Daniel’s. In the book, Daly looked back on the incident nostalgically: “Back then, JD and JD were quite a pair – practically inseparable.”

In 1984, JD left home to attend the University of Arkansas on a partial golf scholarship. He showed up to campus slightly overweight, weighing in at a spry 235, so his coach demanded that he shed 60 pounds before he would let John play. Not one for organic rice cakes and mineral water, Daly decided to craft his own diet. “At first coach had me on this bullshit diet of salad with no dressing and vegetables, which I hated, and fruit and nothing, absolutely nothing fried. It didn’t take long for me to come up with my own diet. The first thing I did was change my drinking habits. Beer was mainly what had fattened me up over the summer, so I quit it altogether and switched over to Jack Daniel’s exclusively. Pretty soon I was averaging a fifth a day, usually straight from the bottle–no glass, no ice, no water. I hardly ate anything. Next I started smoking. Pretty soon I was up to three packs a day. I was determined to lose the weight so I could play, but I wanted to do it my way: cigarettes, dry popcorn, and plenty of JD, and the pounds were peeling away.” Jeez JD, it probably would’ve been healthier to just start freebasing pharmaceutical-grade stimulants, but to each his own, I guess.

They say when it comes to losing weight, it’s all about the diet. That’s good for JD, because he’s never been very fond of working out. “People are always saying how great they feel after a workout,” he says. “Not me. Every time I get on a bike or a treadmill, I puke. And I’m sure as hell not going to some fucking health club, because they won’t let you smoke in there.” It’s a damn shame they don’t let you smoke in health clubs. I would love to see ol’ JD doing work on the elliptical while choking down a couple of heaters, or knocking out a few sets of lat pulldowns with a non-filtered Pall Mall dangling from his piehole.

Apparently, there are some inherent risks associated with the John Daly workout, and it didn’t take long for JD to wind up in the hospital with his first–but surely not his last–“whiskey overdose.” The hospital visit came at the tail end of a three day bender where he washed down a few handfuls of Orville Redenbacher with four 750s of Jack. As he put it, “I passed out with my eyes open and the guys I was drinking with thought I’d had a stroke or something.” But the diet worked, and by Christmas, Daly had dropped 65 pounds and was able to join the team. As John likes to say, “Nicotine plus caffeine equals protein.”

Now, I don’t want you to get the impression that JD was some dumb jock who only cared about swinging the sticks and guzzling whiskey. Nothing could be further from the truth. “You’re not going to believe this, but I was a pretty good student in college. I always went to class, paid good attention, and kept my GPA around 2.5.” Must’ve been an English major.

After college, Daly got married and joined the pro circuit. He had a few minor victories but decided to try his luck overseas, so he set out for the South African Tour, leaving his new bride back in Arkansas. John had quite a bit of success on the South African Tour and earned a sponsorship with Nissan, who gave him a car to travel to and from events.

Even John thought Nissan giving him a car at that point in his life was a little foolhardy. “Wrong side of the road and a lot of booze–not a good combo. One night I’d been drinking really hard–and back then, that could have been just about any night–and I was pissed off about something. Me and a couple of other guys were going home late from a bar and I ran this red light, and then another one, and pretty soon I’m like, fuck it, and I just kept on going. The guys said later I ran through 17 straight reds before they could get me to pull over.” Wow. Dude was fueled out of his mind, operating heavy machinery, and ignoring legal restraint. Even Dante Stallworth thinks that is a recipe for disaster.

According to John, this is when his boozing was at its worst–or best, depending on your perspective. He liked to say that “most people would be drunk for a month on what I’d have before dinner.” I don’t doubt that, considering his favorite drink was “triple Jack Daniel’s on the rocks, no water, three at a time.” Not to go all “Good Will Hunting” and take the black Sharpie to the bathroom mirror, but that is nine servings of alcohol per order. Truly humbling.

It should come as no surprise that John’s marriage quickly fell apart while he was abroad. He said that when he found out that his wife had filed for divorce, he trashed his hotel room and dropped $25 thousand at the casino. Which brings us to John’s two other vices: gambling and women.

Let’s start with the gambling. Daly considers this his most dangerous vice, which is saying something. He estimates that he lost over $60 million from 1991 to 2006. For a lot of his career, he was losing way more than he was taking in. For instance, in 1993 he had tour winnings of $340 thousand, but lost nearly $4 million that year in Vegas. He said he’s extremely worried about his gambling addiction, especially as he gets older and his earning potential dwindles. I think he’ll always be able to pull down a paycheck, especially as a pitchman for mobility scooters, adult diapers, and short-sleeve suits, but he can’t keep gambling like that forever.

One gambling story that blew my fucking skull happened in 2005 after he came in second to Tiger Woods at the WGC AmEx Championship in San Francisco. He pocketed $750 thousand, and instead of going home, he immediately hopped a bird to Vegas and hit up the slots at the Wynn. Yes, you read that right. JD likes the slots. But The Lion doesn’t play slots like some blue-hair with a Benson and Hedges dangling from her pruney lips. Oh no. JD plays a different kind of slot, and it’s not for the faint of heart: five grand for every pull of the lever. That night he walked into the Wynn, and in less than two hours, he had lost $600 thousand at the slots. He then took a $600 thousand line of credit and burned through that in another two hours. At the end of the night, his wallet was $1.65 million lighter in a little more than five hours. That’s $5,500 per minute. I can’t even fathom losing that much money in such a short amount of time. I once lost $225 at the boats and all I wanted to do was go up to my hotel room, pilfer the mini-bar, and open up my veins in a warm bathtub.

The women in John’s life have also taken a big chunk of his earnings over the years. The book was written in 2006, and at the time of the writing, he had been married four times with three divorces under his belt. He subsequently divorced his fourth wife, and to my knowledge, hasn’t remarried.

He met his first wife in 1987 and married her the same year. Her name was Dale and she was a hand model. She was with him before the fame and money and they were only married about a year. According to John, they ended amicably and haven’t spoken in years. He doesn’t know where she’s living or what she’s doing, but given her age and previous line of work, I’d guess she’s found gainful employment at MilfTugs.com.

His second wife’s name was Bettye, which is an incredibly white trash way to spell Betty. He met her in 1990 and said, “it was a case of sex at first sight.” In the book, he fondly recounted their best day together, which was on Masters’ Sunday in 1991. Daly missed the cut but don’t feel too bad for Long John, because he and Bettye “spent all day in bed, watching the last round of the Masters with the sound turned off, listening to Randy Travis and screwing like crazy. All told, we did it 10 times that day.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a solid chub working and I’m possibly leaking pre-cum.

Daly was 24 at the time and Bettye was 29…”or so she said.” It turns out that the woman Daly thought was five years older than him was actually 15 years his senior. She was 39, but let’s not bust his onions too much. We’ve all had chicks conceal minor details (Adam’s Apple) at some point, right? Daly tried to break it off but she dropped the “P bomb” (his words) on him. This is what baffles me about famous athletes. You don’t need to be Suze Orman to realize that the fastest way to drain your wallet is to have a bunch of kids out of wedlock. I’m not saying they should fornicate with a bag on, but at the very least, try not to irrigate her ovaries. Just pull out, blast your load in her cornea, and save your scratch. Or if that’s too much to ask, just nudge her down a flight of twisty metal stairs when she drops the “P Bomb” on you. Unfortunately, JD caved and married the octogenarian. Not surprising, the marriage ended a little more than a year later.

JD met his third wife in 1992 when he was in a foursome (golf, not sexual) with Bob Hope, Dan Quayle, and Gerald Ford. That day he was “so damned hungover” that he was “chugging Diet Cokes like they were beers.” Quick fact: JD drinks an average of 15 cans per day. Anyway, JD married wife number three in 1995. They separated within a year because she “wasn’t cut out for a life on the road” in JD’s tour bus. I imagine that would be tough. Those busses are pretty small, so if JD stumbles in and takes a sloppy Guinness shit, then the bedroom is gonna smell like a Texaco latrine.

“Almost ex number four” was a young lady he was with before he actually married his fourth wife. This one liked to masticate on other women’s genitals and take the stage at skin bars and pick up dollar bills with her cervix. He broke it off with her when he met his fourth wife, who he married after 55 days. Two years later, she was indicted by federal authorities for laundering millions and running an illegal drug and gambling operation. She was convicted a year later. Does this guy know how to pick ‘em or what?

Hmmm, what else about Daly? Oh yeah, he doesn’t have much love for liberals and their confiscatory tax policies. After winning the 1995 British Open, he snubbed President Clinton on a phone call. “My first thought is, holy shit, the President of the United States wants to talk to me. But then I realized Wilson and Reebok were putting about 4 million a year in my pocket and all Clinton was doing was taking 40 percent of that away.” He said he met Dubya once and really liked the guy. GW had a classic icebreaker upon meeting JD fresh out of rehab: “Hiya buddy, you still off the sauce?”

The book ended with a Q&A where he was asked the question on everyone’s mind: Will he ever quit partying? He answered by telling a quick story. In 2005, he was partying in Memphis and thought he was having a heart attack, so his buddies rushed him to the ER. While waiting for the doctor, he sent his buddy on a Burger King run and fired up a couple of lung darts while hooked up to an IV. He then answered, “I won’t stop partying until they turn out the lights for good.”

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