John Daly’s major win at this weekend’s Insperity Invitational is reason for praise, but before you start looking for his training and strategy regiments online, we’d caution that maybe the man who once lost more than 60 pounds on a diet of whiskey and popcorn isn’t the example to follow.
At 51, John Daly’s career has seen extremes so severe they’re matched only, frankly, by some equally massive weight fluctuations. He’s won two majors, on a golf swing that is as ugly as it is unique.
But a unique swing is about function first, and form second. More importantly, what works for John Daly isn’t necessarily great for everyone else. Case in point: diet.
The most interesting revelation going around right now is actually from an ESPN “30 for 30” from late last year, which you can watch in its entirety here.
Daly answered questions on a slew of career eccentricities and personal vices, among them alcohol, gambling, and charges of assault. The part of the interview that stood out the most, however, was Daly’s story of losing nearly 70 pounds from a diet that consisted almost entirely of corn, both the popped and distilled versions. According to Golfweek:
“Daly recalls that in order to play college golf at Arkansas, he was told he had to shed some weight. So, he lost 67 pounds in 2 1/2 months thanks to the time-tested diet of Jack Daniel’s and popcorn. As for a long-term way to keep off weight, Daly claims that then-Razorbacks coach Steve Loy — who would go on to coach at Arizona State and then become Phil Mickelson’s agent — told him, “Smoke a cigarette, it’ll curb your appetite.” And (allegedly) thus began a 30-year habit for Daly that persists to this day.
Extreme diets, fad diets, and the like are time-tested to have impressive impact in the short term, and basically no staying power in the long term. For Daly, the weight obviously didn’t stay off, especially when he sobered up in 1995 and replaced alcohol cravings with chocolate chip muffins, which he had every day at that year’s British Open, and ice cream, which he filled the Claret Jug with.
Men’s Journal has assembled dozens of celebrity and pro-athlete diets over the years that you’re encouraged to explore here. For your own good, don’t try and emulate John Daly.