John Daley Jr. Same Charisma As John Daley Sr.
It is typical in close father and son relationships for the children of public performers to watch and imitate the men they admire. The profession doesn’t really make much of a difference. Unless otherwise taught through outward behavior, a son’s natural tendency is to grow up just like that guy who plays golf, builds boats, teaches school, or sells insurance. To have someone who serves as a basis for your aspirations in the early years is a wonderful thing. When you get to interact together professionally, it’s even better. This year, the PNC featured a lot of acorns who didn’t fall far from the tree. Young men who play golf with their professional fathers are fun to watch because of both the similarities they develop, and for the individualism they couldn’t possibly hide. That’s the thing that will define them in the coming years, launched by a gifted father. The most eye-catching partnership at the PNC this year had to be the Daley family. John Sr. and John II showed up with the same charisma we’ve seen from the elder’s solo act for decades.
Through the years, we’ve gone back and forth on John, Sr. We’ve done the shock thing, the ‘tsk, tsk’ thing, and the “Go get ’em, John” thing. Many of us, through thick and thin, still like the guy. He’s as honest as we would like to be, the occasional style aside. He walks in with a big body, a big swing, and a big unapologetic spirit. He hits the ball a country mile, and age doesn’t seem to be making much of a dent in that. A major winner, he still plays well, sometimes competitively. He’s got his demons, but he is still here, still swinging. And now, just to guarantee that the Daley shine will never go away, there’s another one. We don’t know yet whether the new model will decide to go into professional golf, but he appears interested. He also appears on track with a pretty good imitation of his father’s game.
John Daley, Jr. made sure he didn’t come into the PNC as any sort of novelty entry with his famous partner. He won a prominent IJGA junior tournament at Hilton Head, South Carolina to set the respect for his father-son appearance. He not only won the event, but stepped out front in a five-way playoff. I believe John, Sr., when he says that his son is comfortable in front of a crowd, and doesn’t get nervous. We can see that John Jr. is developing the kind of torso that gave his dad such distance, and his swing is eerily familiar. That includes a takeaway that goes farther back than our chiropractors would like to see us attempt. At 14 years of age, the young Daley brings a whole lot of power through to meet the ball, and already drives 250 plus. More importantly, perhaps, he hits a 7-iron 150 yards. As young golfers, many of us were preoccupied with dialing in our club distance, and I seem to recall that I could hit a 5-iron 150 yards at that age. I also recall playing the elder John’s country club in Memphis, hitting two of my best shots to the edge of the creek. I was shown the spot where Daley typically drove, and where the second shot over the water landed, far far away. It was intimidating, to say the least.
Daley figures that his son is around a 5 handicap, and one can only wonder how far that will drop through school experience and Q school, whatever the format might be. No one knows might serve as obstacles in his path. Will he have to fight some of his dad’s demons, or different ones? Everyone has them, but they are infinitely varied. Regardless, I’ll bet it all on John Daley Jr., if he comes to the tour, coming with all the big stuff he grew up around – the big body, the big swing, and the big unapologetic spirit.