LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Working with John Daly on the book – Grip It & Rip It! – was truly an experience I have not forgotten, for three reasons:
- I was surprised how John knew every inch of his long swing, so much so that he could correct a backswing error and manipulate the club back on track before impact and still hit a great drive.
- I was surprised how far John actually hit the ball. At the photo-shoot for the book, John hit eight drives out of twelve, on a fly, over a bunker 350 yards out from the tee.
- I was surprised how superb was John’s touch and feel hitting pitches, chips, and sand shots very close, or in, the hole.
Well, as surprised as I was watching John in action, during the photo-shoot at my club, Lake Nona, in Orlando, Florida, I was shocked by the recent performance of his strong looking son, John Daly II, playing in the International Junior Golf Tournament at Falcon’s Fire in Kissimmee, Florida, in John Daly style sunburst shorts.
John’s son beat an international field, shooting rounds of 70-66 to win the event. Hitting drives out of sight, irons at the flagstick, sinking an eagle putt on the 4th hole and five birdie putts on the back nine, in round two, John ended up beating the second place finisher, Matthew Hicks, by nine strokes.
Watching John Daly II play, I could only remember an assignment I was given around 1984, just after been promoted to senior instruction editor at GOLF Magazine. I was to interview Gary Nicklaus for an article entitled “Heir Apparent” since it was believed Gary was going to take over for his legendary father Jack Nicklaus. That never happened.
I can tell you that is not the case with John Daly II. My lowest score at Falcon’s Fire was 71. It is no easy course, especially when the wind blows. For 16 year-old John Daly ll to shoot 70-66 is incredible, and I believe we are truly looking at the heir apparent, to take over, one day in the near future, where John Daly – – and Tiger Woods – – left off.