John Daly Through the Years: Young (With a Mullet) to the Senior Tour

Long John's Highs and Lows in Photos

John Daly early in his pro golf career, with a mullet.
John Daly had a righteous mullet early in his career. Tony Roberts/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

The John Daly photos in this pictorial tour of his career go back to 1991 and the event that made Daly a household name (at least in households that included golfers). Below you'll find various high points throughout Daly's career, plus some of the many low points that Daly has been through.

Making the Scene: 1991 PGA Championship

John Daly's long driver swing pictured in 1992
Gary Newkirk/Getty Images  

John Daly has always been known for one thing above all else on the PGA Tour: power. His very long swing produced very long drives — the longest scene on the PGA Tour when he first made that scene.

1991 PGA Championship Winner

John Daly of the USA holds the trophy after winning the USPGA Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana, USA in August 1991.
John Daly holds the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 1991 PGA Championship. Stephen Munday/Getty Images  

At the start of PGA Championship week in 1991, Daly was the eighth alternate. By the end of the week, he was PGA champion. He was also something of a folk hero: The big-bombing driver who appeared to come out of nowhere and win a major championship. Daly always gave off a municipal-golfer vibe (as opposed to the country club vibe of most pro golfers), and the fans adored him for it.

Smokin' at the 1992 British Open

John Daly smokes while he swings at the 1992 British Open
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em. Stephen Munday/

Daly's bad habits began showing up early in his career. The photographer noted Daly's so-called "relaxed approach" to the Open Championship in 1992.

The Daly Backswing

John Daly tees off No. 18 at St. Andrews during the 1995 British Open
The famous looooong backswing of Daly's. Steve Munday/Getty Images

Jack Nicklaus, among many others, was wowed by the length of John Daly's backswing and his powerful coil early in his career.

Winning His Second Major

John Daly - 1995 British Open Winner
Celebrating during the final round of the 1995 British Open. David Cannon / Getty Images

After a couple years of struggles following his 1991 PGA Championship victory, and some run-ins with the PGA Tour over bad behavior, Daly re-emerged at the 1995 British Open, winning the tournament in a playoff over Constantino Rocca.

The Mullet Is Gone ... For a Time

John Daly, bald, in the 1995 Scandinavian Masters.
John Daly shaved his head and went with the bald look in 1995. Phil Cole/Getty Images  

It was a shock when, later in 1995, Daly — famous for his mullet — went in the complete opposite direction for a new hairstyle.

Separated at Birth?

John Daly - Laura Davies 1998 JCPenney Classic
Daly with partner Laura Davies at the 1998 JCPenney Classic. The JCPenney was a co-ed team tournament played during the "silly season." Daly and Davies teamed several times in the mid- to late-1990s. Vincent Laforet / Getty Images and the LPGA's Laura Davies — both large-and-in-charge big bombers — partnered one another a few times in the old JC Penney Classic tournament that paired PGA Tour and LPGA Tour golfers. They even won it the last time it was played, in 1999.

Fan Favorite

John Daly sign a fans hat during the Las Vegas Invitational on the TPC Summerlin at The Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Signing autographs at the 1999 Las Vegas Invitational. Donald Miralle/Getty Images  

No matter what the state of his game is, or the state of his off-course life, John Daly has always remained a fan favorite.

DQ Down Under

John Daly of the USA throws his iron after having to take a drop when his approach shot hit an officials cart and ran into the water on the 13th hole during round two of the Australian PGA Championships at the Hyatt Regency Golf Course, Sunshine Coast, Australia on November 29, 2002.
Daly tosses a club in frustration at the 2002 Australian PGA Championship. Chris McGrath/Getty Images  

Daly made the trip Down Under for the 2002 Australian PGA Championship, but things didn't go very well. In the shot above, he was angered after his drive hit an official's cart and kicked into a water hazard. Later, after a generally miserable day, Daly tossed his putter and ball into a greenside lake at No. 18, then left without signing his scorecard to draw a disqualification.

Livin' Large in the Motorhome

John Daly relaxes as he plays his guitar in his motorhome prior to the start of the U.S. Open on June 12, 2002 in Farmingdale, New York.
Daly pickin' a guitar inside his motorhome prior to the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in New York. Jamie Squire/Getty Images  

Daly travels from tournament to tournament in a luxury motorhome. This is a view of the interior of one of his RVs.

Winning the 2004 Buick Invitational

John Daly with the trophy for winning the 2004 Buick Invitational tournament
Daly shows off his last PGA Tour trophy at the 2004 Buick Invitational. A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Daly's last victory on the PGA Tour (he won five tournaments total, two of which were majors) was at the 2004 Buick Invitational, where Daly won a 3-way playoff for the title.

Musician Friends

Golfer John Daly jokes with Hootie and the Blowfish band members Jim "Soni" Sonefeld (C) and Dean Felber (R) as they attend a listening party for their new CD "Looking for Lucky" at Local 1 August 8, 2005
Daly clowns with members of Hootie and Blowfish, Jim 'Soni' Sonefeld (whom Daly is wrapped around) and Dean Felber. Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images  

Daly goes way back with the members of the band Hootie and the Blowfish, and counts many musicians among his friends. Kid Rock is another good friend. And Daly has even released a couple albums of music. The first, titled My Life, included guest appearances by members of Hootie, plus Willie Nelson, among others.

2005 Battle at the Bridges

John Daly and teammate Tiger Woods joke on the 1st tee during the Battle at the Bridges on July 25, 2005 at The Bridges at Rancho Sante Fe in Rancho Sante Fe, California.
With Tiger Woods during Tiger's primetime golf outing "Battle at the Bridges" in 2005. Donald Miralle/Getty Images  

Despite his frequent travails, Daly remains a popular player among his peers. Tiger Woods is a friend, and Daly played in a couple "Battle at the Bridges." That was Woods' made-for-TV exhibition that was played in prime time several times in the early aughts.

Falconry in the Desert

ohn Daly of the USA holds a falcon during a falcon show as a preview for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 17, 2006
Daly gets a lesson in falconry prior to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in 2006. David Cannon/Getty Images  

While Daly struggled on the U.S. PGA Tour much of the time from 2006 forward, he remained a big draw and could command large appearance fees to play overseas.

Scratch Golfer

With scratches visible on his face after an altercation with his wife, Daly plays the 2007 St. Jude Championship.
With scratches visible on his face after an altercation with his wife, Daly plays the 2007 St. Jude Championship. Hunter Martin/Getty Images

In 2007, Daly showed up at the St. Jude Championship in Memphis with deep scratches on his face. Daly claimed his then-wife attacked him with a steak knife, while Daly's wife counterclaimed that she was defending herself against an alleged sexual assault by Daly. After a couple weeks of soap opera, Daly and his wife reconciled.

Feeling the Pain at 2008 Hope

John Daly gets a massage from chronic pain specialist Jim Weathers next to the 17th green during the third round of the 49th Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on January 18, 2008.
Chronic pain specialist Jim Weathers massages John Daly next to the 17th green during the third round of the 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Robert Laberge/Getty Images  

Daly received on-course treatment during the third round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, and wasn't around to play the weekend. After his departure, reports surfaced that Daly had spent his evenings during the tournament drinking and carousing.

Pods People: Caddie Jon Gruden

Head coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers caddies for John Daly during the first round of the PODS Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 6, 2008
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden caddies for Daly during the first round of the 2008 Pods Championship. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images  

Daly's behavior at the 2008 Pods Championship — where he whiled away his time during weather delays in the Hooters corporate tent, used Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as caddie for part of his first round, and posted scores of 77 and 80 — was cited by instructor Butch Harmon when Harmon dumped Daly as a client.

Washington Road

John Daly greets a fan on Washington Road before the third round of the 2016 Masters Tournament.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images for Golfweek  

During several years at The Masters, when John Daly hasn't made the field for the tournament (he last played it in 2006), Daly has driven his RV to Augusta, Ga., and set up shop along Washington Road. Selling on tables set up next to the RV, Daly hawks his book, clothing, caps, photos and other wares.

New Wardrobe, New Girlfriend

Daly in Loudmouth trousers and with his then-girlfriend Anna Cladakis at the 2010 Open Championship.
Daly in Loudmouth trousers and with his then-girlfriend Anna Cladakis. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

In 2009, Daly began a partnership with the makers of very loud golf apparel, Loudmouth Golf. Roughly around the same time he began dating Anna Cladakis. The two have been together since, and Anna has caddied for John during some tournaments.

Turning 50

John Daly waits on the practice ground during the final round of the Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 8, 2016
John Daly, still smoking on the Champions Tour. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

In 2016 Daly turned 50 and joined the Champions Tour — still loud, still smoking, still drawing crowds.

Using a Cart on Tour

John Daly drives a cart up to the 16th tee during the continuation second round of the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Country Club on July 27, 2019 in Reno, Nevada.
John Daly using a cart during a PGA Tour tournament.  Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In 2019, citing osteoarthritis in his right knee that makes long walks painful, Daly petitioned the PGA of America for permission to use a golf cart during the PGA Championship. The PGA granted permission. Later in 2019, however, the R&A told Daly no when he asked to use a cart during the British Open. Daly has used a cart during Champions Tour and PGA Tour tournaments.