You may have noticed on some of my appearances on the Traveling Golfer show and on the TGD Newswire, that I have been referring to myself as Real John Daly.

Let me explain … really.


Blame Dustin Gilder, the Executive Producer of the Traveling Golfer. He coined my new moniker.  And it really works.

You will see in a video segment we did for the Traveling golfer about the 17th hole at Rivers Edge that he introduces me Real John Daly.

Why Real?

Now, you may be asking why Real John Daly?

First, my big TV break was hosting the first all-video news magazine show called Real TV from 1996 to 2000.  It was the first live action caught on tape show that, I say, was the precursor to YouTube.  We averaged more than 3 million viewers a night in syndication and once Oprah had me on, the show hit more than 4 million.

How I went from being a Las Vegas news anchor to being the host of reality show hit is really still a mystery.  At the time, Las Vegas was not a huge television market. But Vegas was near Hollywood so I could sneak down for auditions.

Granted, one of my skills is being able to read a Teleprompter like I’m talking in a regular conversation.  But I’m not an actor or a superstar personality by any means. However, what helped me get the gig was a competing TV show called America’s Funniest Videos with the now deceased Bob Saget.

Bob was funny and very bawdy.  However, the producers at Real TV said they did not want a comedian or a Bob Saget type because they wanted the audience to know that the videos were real. So, they wanted a new anchor type to be the host.  My background as a newspaper reporter, an investigative reporter, and a news anchor for the previous 15 years worked — maybe the only Hollywood show I was perfect for.  So, I was “real” lucky.

So, there I was, a local news anchor now on national TV on a show that took off.  Real TV became the highest rated first year syndicated TV show at that time. Here’s a reel of some of my work on Real TV and notice a clip with Singer and Comedian Gary Mule Deer and me on the golf course.

Real TV also improved my golf game. I was always a pretty good athlete and an avid golfer, but I was a mediocre golfer, shooting in the high 80s low 90s most of the time.  But because my schedule at Real TV allowed me three or four days a week to play and practice golf, I worked very hard on my swing, and my short game. I quickly went down to a single digit handicap.

Hollywood O’Hurley’s Golf Focus

As a result, I ended up in a ton of celebrity golf events.  The day I signed my Real TV contract, I immediately called longtime friend John O’Hurley, who was playing J. Peterman on Seinfeld.  I thought for sure John O would shower me with congratulations and would be excited we’d be living near each other in tinsel Town.  Nope. O’Hurley, who is a great stick, went all golf.  “Great, now you can play in all these celebrity golf events with me.”  Hey, what’s more important?

And remember, the 1990s was the heyday of Celebrity golf events. That was the way nonprofits raised big amounts of money. They would bring in celebrities, draw huge crowds, and raise a lot of money. From 1996 until 1999, I played in at least 25 celebrity golf events a year throughout the US, Europe, and the Caribbean that my wife Teri was able to attend with me.

I played in the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic, the Frank Sinatra celebrity tournament, the Bing Crosby, the Duke Children’s Hospital Class, The Ocean Spray Celebrity Golf Event on Cape Cod, and then I was invited to play on the now defunct Celebrity Player’s Tour.

Granted, I wasn’t as good as the consistent champion Rick Rhoden, the former major-league pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here’s a podcast interview I did with him years later.

I was by no means a big winner on the Celebrity Players Tour and did not play in their big Tahoe TV event, but I made some money and I was a featured speaker at high school events connected to the tournaments, along with Alphonso Ribeiro, a great talent and a great guy.

However, being on the Celebrity Players Tour did lead to my somewhat scripted comedy response that I still use — or reconfigure today — when someone says, “Are you John Daly the golfer?”

My response: “Yes I am a golfer.”

Response back: “But are you the professional golfer John Daly?”

My retort back: “Yes, I am.”

Because I made money on the Celebrity Players Tour, I was declared – wait for it – a professional golfer.  My apologies to all the pros out there. The only restriction back then was I had to declare my so-called pro status in an amateur event or not play in amateur events.  Let’s see, I can only play in pro events or just with friends hacking around and celebrity events?  Give me the money and the title.  Plus, my goofy answers have led to many confused looks or rolled eye expressions.

One of the other great events I attended was the Fuzzy Zoeller Wolf Challenge. Fuzzy put on a great event every year in southern Indiana at his golf course Covered Bridge, not far from Louisville, Kentucky.

And it was here that led to my second reason why I am being renamed Real John Daly.

At Fuzzy’s event, he brought in Long John Daly, the British Open and PGA championship winner, who, as most of you know, stormed onto the golf scene in the early 1990s with his long ball game and go get ‘em attitude during every round of golf.

Now long before I went to Real TV, I interviewed Long John in Las Vegas after he won the PGA Championship in 1991. He was invited to a fundraising event in Las Vegas for one of the big car dealerships there owned by entrepreneur Cliff Findlay, who became a friend and asked me if I would come to the event since I shared the same name as the celebrity who is coming in.

You’re Killing My Name!

You will see in the video below our first meeting and my first interview with John Daly.

As you will hear, he told me that he thought he had a good name — until he met me.

And then years later when we met at Fuzzy’s event, Long John saw me, and he jokingly shook his head and said across the room, “you’re killing my name.”

Long John and I hadn’t had a chance to get together much over the years. But when we did bump into each other he was always kind and funny to me. I remain a big fan of his, not only for his kindness to me, but also for what he has done to make the game exciting and interesting.

Still, Dustin either wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt Long John’s name or, most likely, as a TV Producer he realized to differentiate me from him so people wouldn’t be disappointed when they saw me. So, on my Traveling Golfer appearances, he referred to me as the Real John Daly – and it stuck.

So, now you know the two reasons why I am now Real John Daly when I host golf shows or segments.

Enjoy the segments below.  And understand how lucky I have been.

First is my first meeting with Long John Daly.


This is our recent segment on the Traveling golfer about Rivers Edge whole number 17.


Real John Daly is a Producer and fill-in Host for the Traveling Golfer. He writes and produces for the TGD Newswire at He is a former player on the Celebrity Players Tour who still holds a single-digit handicap.  He was the host of Real TV, the groundbreaking reality show in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He is currently the Co-Creator and Co-Host of Undercover Jetsetter with Susan Anzalone, a show on travel, food, wine, mixology and, of course, golf. They show you how to jet set the world and at home. They also co-authored the book, The TV Studio In Your Hand: How to Shoot, Edit & Deliver the Easy Way on Your iPhone.