John Daly explains how he would change golf’s Hall of Fame criteria

John Daly has long been a lightning rod within the PGA Tour ranks. From his abrasive playing style to his even-more-abrasive fashion sense (and don’t even get us started about his personality), he’s never ceased to generate headlines. Even at age 53 at last year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, Daly found himself at the center of the story for the exemption that allowed him to compete using a golf cart. Two months later, he again made news when the R&A denied his request to do the same at the Open Championship.

But there’s one place Daly has not yet found his name: the World Golf Hall of Fame. Despite his pair of major championship victories, Daly remains on the outside looking in, even as younger players like Tiger Woods earn entry into golf immortality.

On the latest episode of GOLF’s Subpar, Daly broke down to Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz how he would change the criteria for earning entrance into the Hall.

A frame-by-frame breakdown of John Daly and his son’s golf swing
By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

“I think the Hall of Fame should be fans voting in, or the people who are behind it,” Daly said. “I know I’ve done some pretty stupid things, but the way I look at it, I look at all these greats who are in the hall of fame because they moved the needle in the game of golf. They’ve gotten people interested in the game of golf.”

As far as Daly is concerned, the Hall is a measure of impact as much as it’s a measure of success.

“Kids who started [playing golf] because of me or older people have started because of me, then I feel like I should be [voted into the Hall of Fame],” he said. “If I moved the needle and got people playing the game, I feel like that’s all you could hope for.”

Golf poker
Daly, Wie, Homa among pros to play online poker tournament for coronavirus charity
By: Nick Piastowski

But golf’s “Wild Thing” admits, that impact wasn’t always positive.

“I don’t think it’s something I can really say,” Daly said. “It’s out of my hands. I feel like I’ve done a lot for the game but I’ve also done a lot that wasn’t good for the game—attitude sometimes.

“I would almost have rather played in seven Ryder Cups than even begin to think about the Hall of Fame because I feel like there were two or three Ryder Cups where I really could’ve helped our team.”

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James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at