John Daly’s Net Worth: The Legend of a Big Hitter

Last updated on July 20th, 2023

John Daly

“Wild Thing”. “Long John”. “Big JD”. John Patrick Daly has been called many things over the years. Boring was never one of them.

John Daly is an American golfer best known for his prodigious driving on the course (and his wild antics off it).

His boisterous personality and colorful clothing have won him the hearts of many fans- albeit, not so many within the golfing establishment. 

And it has been this distinct personality he has been able to brand with some success as his playing career wound down. In fact, his reputation and cult status threaten to overshadow what was a successful career. While it lasted anyway!

He still stands as the only US and European golfer to win two majors and yet not get a Ryder Cup pick.

So let’s have a closer look at some of those on-course successes, and then at the man behind the myth….

A Colorful Career

Colourful Career of John Daly

As a player, he is most remembered for his “zero-to-hero” victory in the 1991 PGA Championship- the same year he won PGA Tour Rookie of The Year award- and his playoff victory over Costantino Rocca in the 1995 Open Championship.

As well as winning on U.S. soil, Daly has also won in South Africa, Swaziland, Scotland, Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and Canada.

John Daly won his third PGA tour title in the 1994 Bell South Classic- the first tournament he played since going to rehab for alcoholism.

The First of the Big Hitters

John Daly First as PGA PGA Players

In 1997 Daly became the first PGA Players since the stats began to average drives of over 300 yards over an entire season. A feat he repeated every year from 1999 to 2008- indeed, the only player until 2003. 

He led the tour season in driving distance all those years too, not surprisingly, reigning from 1991 til 2002 (aside from when briefly usurped by Davis Love III in 1994). 

John Daly was inducted into the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.

Latter-day struggles

After winning in San Diego in 2004, Daly earned a playing exemption for two years. After 2006, his career faltered, and he had trouble making cuts and staying on the tour- PGA event entries mainly came from past champion status and sponsor invitations. He has been competing on the PGA Tour Champions circuit since 2016, winning the 2017 Insperity Invitational.

He is the only man in PGA history to win two major championships but not be selected for the Ryder Cup from Europe or the United States.

Just as Colorful off the Golf Course…

John Daly and Dale Crafton

Daly’s personal life is every bit as chequered as his career.

deep breath

First John Daly married Dale Crafton in 1987. They divorced in 1990. He married Bettye Fulford in the summer of ’92 (having a daughter Shynah Hale). Daly then married Paulette Dean in 1995, not long after his divorce from Fulford was inked. They had a daughter, Sierra Lynn, in June 1995. Marriage to Paulette lasted til 1999, where Daly took a few years off married life before deciding to marry Sherrie Miller in 2001. They have a son, John Patrick Daly II, born on 23rd July 2003.

Health worries

John Daly Health Issue

A routine visit to the urologist for a kidney stone complaint revealed John was suffering from bowel cancer in September 2020. This was the latest in a line of health issues- many relating to ongoing struggles with obesity and alcoholism.

A community uproar ensued when Daly claimed that many PGA golfers use cocaine, and that if drug testing was done properly on tour, he would be “one of the cleanest guys out there.”.

In early 2009, Daly had lap-band surgery that limited the amount of food he could consume. He lost well over 100 pounds by the end of 2009 and was “a slim, trim 185.”.

A brown recluse spider bitten Daly while he was vacationing in England in July 2019 caused him to become septic. He needed emergency surgery to survive.

Much more than just a golfer…

 As a businessman, again, he keeps things interesting, with several successful businesses- notably endorsements with LoudMouth Golf Apparel and a golf course design company. 

He provided backing vocals for Kid Rock’s song, “Half Your Age” in 2007. Daly released his second music album, I Only Know One Way, on Long Ball Records/Hopesong Digital/GMV Nashville in April 2010. On the album, he co-wrote eight tracks. One of the tracks features Darius Rucker of Hootie And The Blowfish’s lead singer and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

John Daly’s Career Earnings and Net Worth

John Daly

In 2023, John Daly net worth is estimated to be $2 million. Despite total career earnings of $12 million, Daly believes he has lost as much as $55 million gambling. That’s a lot of money…

The clothing line, Loudmouth Golf, has an ongoing deal with Daly. Rock Bottom Golf, a discount golf store in 2014, also signed on for endorsement.

The golf designing company John Daly founded, ‘JD Designs’, is flourishing. There are John Daly golf courses all over the world- from Arkansas to Ireland.

Daly is also involved in ‘Prostroke Golf’, a golf game where the players must beat Daly in a series of challenges to unlock further levels.

John Daly’s Mind-blowing Gambling Losses

in his 2006 autobiography, Daly revealed that gambling addiction had cost him somewhere in the region of 50 to 60 million dollars over a 15-year period. Much of it in high-stakes Las Vegas slot machines…

With his business nous, popularity, and distinct branding, there’s little doubt that Daly’s net worth would be up there with the game’s most successful players had it been managed more prudently.

The Legacy of John Daly

Legacy of John Daly

Sadly, like we touched on, Daly’s on-course achievements have been overshadowed by the cult following his antics off it have attracted. He was a player with genuine elite talent- not just the first to usher in the era of the Big Hitters, and so much more than just a novelty act or sideshow. However, this is likely how he will be known and remembered, especially by later generations of golf fans.

Self-taught, Daly has a long and powerful golf swing. Coiling his arms and shoulders in the backswing results in breakneck club head speed on his downswing as he takes his club far beyond parallel. Due to the requirement for near-perfect timing for the proper execution, the swing- and the struggle to produce it consistently- cost him as many tournaments as it won him. 

John Daly’s Controversies

Controversies of John Daly

John Daly’s memorable moments could fill a whole other article, but we’ll try to do them justice with a quick list here…

    • A 30k fine for driving balls over the grandstand at the 1993 Fred Meyer Challenge. 

    • Hitting balls into the group in front at the 1994 NEC World Series of Golf. Almost hitting fellow golfer Jeff Roth, before getting into a scuffle with Roths father.

    • Breaking a club at the ’98 Fed-Ex St. Jude Classic after repeatedly going out of bounds., before walking off the course and being disqualified for not signing his score-card.

    • Breaking a spectators camera at the 2008 Australia Open. 

And many many more… 

The Philanthropist Behind The Headlines

These moments threaten to overshadow his many more positive contributions. 

In 1991, John Daly won the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club and gave $30,000 to a family of a man who died during the tournament from lightning. The family used the prize money to pay for the college expenses of the man’s two daughters. This was at the beginning of Daly’s career and before the sport made him wealthy.

As a volunteer, Daly has been involved with a number of charities in northwest Arkansas, including his high school, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The University of Arkansas sports programs are also supported by Daly. His friends, Hootie & the Blowfish, hold a celebrity Pro-Am on Monday following the Masters, where he regularly plays- shaving his signature “mullet” and donating the proceeds to various charities.

John Daly: The Brand

John Daly - The Brand

Daly is in partnership with Loudmouth Golf line of clothing, which includes licensing deals with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Arkansas Razorbacks. Sales have proved popular, not least the colourful golfing trousers that are probably what people associate most closely with his image.

Rock Bottom Golf, a discount retailer, was endorsed Daly in October 2014. 

The wine label John Daly Wines was launched by Daly in 2006, but has since closed.

John Daly also sells merchandise on his website and his Facebook page

His unique personality have made him an ideal figure for personal branding, with everything from driver headcovers to guitar straps!

What Does The Future Hold For “The Wild Thing”?

Future of John Daly

On April 28, 2016, Daly turned 50, making him eligible to play on the PGA Tour Champions. In May, he played in the Insperity Invitational and finished tied for 17th.

Daly won the Insperity Invitational on May 7, 2017, after shooting 14-under par. It was his first win since 2004, exactly one year after making his debut.

Daly continues to compete semi-regularly; often making appearances even when his is not competing, to sell merchandise (most memorably at Augusta each year when the Masters comes to town).

John Daly: One Of A Kind

John Daly One Of A Kind

The legacy of his personality may overshadow his achievements on the course, but they have also helped paved the way for his commercial success off the course. But for anyone who had the pleasure of seeing “Wild Thing” in his pomp, he’ll never fail to bring a smile. 

Daly is remembered for many reasons. The first of the big hitters. Two major wins- especially that defeat of Rocca in the Open. A career with more controversy than his peers combined. Wild swings, wild clothes, wild behavior.

This has all led to a lasting impact on the game, despite the fact he had barely a decade at the top level.

While the myth may well have overtaken the man, John Daly probably wouldn’t change a thing. He did it his way, for sure. And he’ll never be forgotten

FAQs

 Q: How many Majors has John Daly Won?’

A: Two Majors: the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship.

Q: How old is John Daly the golfer?

A: 57 years old.

Q: How much is John Daly Worth?

A: It is estimated he is worth $2 million.

Q: Who are John Daly’s wives?

A: Dale Crafton, Paulette Dean Daly, Sherrie Miller, and Bettye Fulford.

Q: Who are John Daly’s Children?

A: Shynah Hale Daly, Sierra Lynn Daly, and John Patrick Daly II.

 

Brad Stoneking

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