The other John Daly is a golfer, too

By Todd Dewey, Contributor

A golf fan eagerly awaited the arrival of John Daly's group on one of the greens at the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Classic in Palm Springs, a couple years ago. When someone told him the John Daly he was waiting for was the host of "Real TV," not the big hitter from the PGA Tour, the gentleman turned around and left.

That's what life is sometimes like for the other John Daly, who served as news anchor and managing editor for the evening newscast at ABC affiliate KTNV-TV 13, in Las Vegas, for six years before moving on to host the nationally syndicated video magazine show "Real TV," in Hollywood, Calif., from 1996 to 2000.

Daly, who now hosts the show "House Detective" on HGTV and is active in several other projects, is often greeted with slumped shoulders and puzzled looks by groups at charity golf events expecting to see the John Daly of prodigious drives and demons.

"I tell them I can hit it 300 yards, it just takes two or three times to do it," he said.

Actually, Daly can hold his own on the links. He has a 10-handicap and has shot par-72 on several occasions. Unlike the PGA John Daly, though, his strength is his short game, not the long ball.

"You're not going to see this John Daly hit it 320 yards. My game is so far opposite of the other John Daly, in quality and distance, it's not even funny," he said. "I'm more of a chipper and a putter. If I can get my drive in the fairway, I have a good shot at scoring low. I don't hit the ball a ton, but if I get it near the hole, I can get up and down around 50 percent of the time."

Daly, a longtime reporter who originally hails from West Hartford, Conn., took golf lessons as a kid, but didn't become passionate about the sport until the early 1980s, when his schedule at the daily newspaper, the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, allowed it.

From there, he took a graduate course in broadcast journalism at Columbia University and embarked on a successful television career, climbing the charts from a reporter in New Bern, N.C., to a news anchor in Providence, R.I. and his native Hartford, to his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, where he and his wife of 18 years, Teri, have lived since 1990.

"I thought I'd be here two years, but after two years, we never wanted to leave," he said. "We love the area and it's a perfect place for my wife and me to live. We don't have kids and we love the 24-hour town and the fact we can play golf all year round, and the fact it's still a town."

Teri Daly, a personal trainer, took up the game, in part, to spend more quality time with her husband, and now they're both passionate about it, as are her parents, who reside near the golf mecca of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Her father works at Angel's Trace and the four of them often play together, with John and Teri routinely playing 36 holes a day on trips down South.

While at home in Las Vegas, Daly, whose voice can be heard if callers are put on hold at both the Siena Golf Club and Red Rock Arroyo, plays around once a week, and more in the summer.

He said Siena and the Red Rock Arroyo course are two of his favorites, along with The Falls at Lake Las Vegas and Bear's Best.

"I like (Siena and Red Rock Arroyo) because they don't force me to hit the ball long, and the greens are so subtle (at Siena), and difficult," he said. "If you can putt well here, you can go to any other course and putt well."

Daly, very active in the Las Vegas community, recently hosted his own Las Vegas Corporate Golf Championships, with proceeds to benefit Positively Kids

He enjoys playing in charity events, such as the Frank Sinatra tournament, at which he and former model Beverly Johnson teamed up to win a celebrity shootout last year. The event is scheduled to air on the Golf Channel soon.

Other notable events Daly has played in include the Jimmy V Celebrity Tournament, the Gregory Hines Memorial Tournament, which he hosted, the Duke Charity Classic, Fuzzy Zoeller's annual tournament and more.

"I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I'm sitting there with Hall of Fame athletes and celebrities, because I read a teleprompter well," he said. "I'm not an A-list celebrity by any stretch, so I have to play good golf, be friendly and give them a fun day."

Daly, whose college roommate, at Providence College, was actor John O'Hurley, who portrayed J. Peterman on the hit show "Seinfeld," has played at several of the same events as the PGA Tour's John Daly, who he said has been most gracious.

"He's a funny guy and he's been good about it. He jokes that he thought he had a good name until he met me," Daly said. "One time we were at registration at the same time and then we had to go down a line and sign some memorabilia. He's right behind me and he said, 'Uh-oh, I think one of our mom's fooling around,' because our signatures were identical. It was the strangest thing."

Daly, whose new production company, Daly Productions, has produced several pilots for television shows and screenplays for movies, may never again see his golf game reach the heights it did when he was host of "Real TV," which is still shown virtually every day on Spike TV.

"When I was on 'Real TV' in L.A., I worked Monday to Wednesday, so Thursday I was home here playing golf, and they restricted me on my contract (from hosting other shows), so I couldn't do anything else," he said. "I got three months off, too, and I still got paid. Talk about the life of Riley. My handicap was around a 5 or 6. It was the best time of my life."

Daly, who also has plans for a golf show and is slated to start hosting a radio show in Las Vegas as well, shot close to 800 shows in four seasons of 'Real TV,' which drew four million viewers a night at its peak.

Daly, who left the show when his contract expired, said it was the best work experience of his life.

"Those shows are timeless. What made the show first was incredible video, and then it was because we had great story tellers," he said. "The first three years every show had a hero. You can watch those shows with your family. 'Real TV' should still be on the air."

Todd Dewey, Contributor

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