Golfer John Daly Has a Legitimate Obsession With Drinking Diet Coke

John Daly's diet coke "addiction" is the stuff of legend, but there may be a deeper reason as to why he drinks so much of it. Here’s what we know.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Sep. 11 2020, Updated 11:55 a.m. ET

john daly diet coke
Source: Getty

Golf may be the official sport of douchebags everywhere (not mini golf, that's awesome), but it's hard to deny that there are several people who've transcended the overall lame nature of the glorified drinking game and managed to become legends in their own way. You have to have a tremendous personality to make people interested in golf, and John Daly, with his Diet Coke obsession, is definitely one of those characters.

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John Daly was up to 28 cans of Diet Coke every single day.

John is probably one of the sport's most colorful characters. From the often ridiculous but awesome outfits he rocks on the green, to his constant struggles with addiction: whether it be food, alcohol, cigarettes, or Diet Coke, the outspoken and inconsistent golfer has become a subject of fascination for those who follow the sport.

Then there's also the matter of his four divorces.

john daly diet coke
Source: Getty
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Daly still persists, indulgent excesses, gripes with life, all of it. It seems that he's swapped out one set of addictions for another, however. After undergoing lap band surgery in order to curb his weight gain, John still slammed back tons of Diet Coke, however his intake needed to be reduced due to the nature of the procedure.

As John said in an interview with The Big Lead, "The band won't allow me to drink as many. If I don't have ice, I can drink it. I can't have it straight because of the carbonation. I used to have 26-28 cans a day. Now I have 10-12 at the most."

In addition to his penchant for sugar-free caramel colored carbonated beverages, Daly also is a longtime smoker, and attributes his lack of a fitness regimen to his cancer stick habit.

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"Some guys want to do a little more cardio training; I can't see me being allowed to smoke a cigarette on a treadmill. I don't think they will let me into the gym if I do that. Will they?"

I mean, he could always just briskly jog outdoors with a pack of smokes rolled up into his sleeves if he really wanted to run and puff.

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Now that John Daly has bladder cancer, people want to know if it has to do with his lifestyle choices.

The 54-year-old, two-time major winner has opened up about his bladder cancer diagnosis and underwent a procedure to have it removed. However, he has said that there's a high chance the disease will return.

"[My doctor] said there's an 85 percent chance it comes back. I've got to go back and see him in three months. They will probably have to cut it out again. It's probably going to come back, and then another three months that you don't know," he told The Golf Channel.

John stated that despite the chance of the cancer returning, he was fortunate in some respects, "Luckily for me they caught it early, but bladder cancer is something that I don't know all the details. But it doesn't look like it may go away. We will just see what happens. Maybe there's a miracle."

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John's back pains and kidney stones ultimately forced him to withdraw from the Charles Schwab series and see a specialist. 

"[My urologist told me] it doesn't look like any stones are in there. But unfortunately, you have bladder cancer. After I did the CT I was fixing to sip on my Diet Coke and he said, 'Don't drink anything. We have to get you back in here and get this cancer out of you.'"

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John's career has spanned an impressive 33 years where he's won a five PGA tour titles. He was approved to use a cart last year after getting his American with Disabilities Act application approved. In the past few years, John has mentioned a persistent knee injury that's impeded his ability to play effectively.

Despite his years of bad health habits, he's vowed to make a more concentrated effort to take better care of himself.

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"I'm cutting way, way back on the Diet Coke and counting minutes before I can have a cigarette. I'm trying to quit smoking. The doctors aren't saying it's too late. Unfortunately, it's a cancer that keeps coming back. But I'm going to listen to them, and I'm going to try and quit smoking.If it comes back, it comes back. Six months to a year, if it doesn't go away, I'm going to live my life. I'm gonna have some fun. I always tell people I've lived one hell of a life. No matter what happens, I'm not scared to die or anything."

He continued, "It would have been nice to play the last seven or eight or 13 years of my career a little more healthy. But hey, I'm still working, I'm still living life, I'm still doing the things I need to do ... I can accept the challenge. I'm not scared of that. I just want my kids to be OK and everyone else in my family."

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