124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Daly Update

PGA Championship 2024: Why John Daly can ride in a golf cart at Valhalla but his caddie has to carry his clubs


Ross Kinnaird

While many golf greats are huffing and puffing around the Jack Nicklaus-designed Valhalla Golf Club this week, John Daly will be cruising around in a golf cart. No sight represents the PGA Championship better than JD rocking once-in-a-lifetime pants while zooming around fairways with caddie Lance Odom trudging behind him, clubs in tow.

Like in years past, Daly is allowed to use a cart due to his arthritis which keeps him from walking any longer than six holes on the course. It’s permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act and has been a constant for Daly at this major since Bethpage Black in 2019.

"I hope I don’t get a lot of grief from the fans,” Daly said at the time. "My knee is screwed. I had the meniscus cut out. I have osteoarthritis so bad ... I can walk up a hill, I just can’t walk down one.

"The whole thing [stinks]. Florida sends me a handicap sticker when I’m there. It’s embarrassing. But I can’t walk more than six holes before the whole knee swells up, and then I can’t go anymore."


Ross Kinnaird

Daly became the first player to ride in a cart at a major since Casey Martin back in 2012 (and 1998). Martin had Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome, a degenerative circulatory disorder that obstructed the flow of blood from his right leg to his heart. It took a Supreme Court case for Martin to eventually be allowed to use the vehicle on tour.

Although Daly's golf cart request was "reviewed and approved" by the PGA, there are several restrictions he must follow. For example, players cannot have their bags ride with them, and caddies are not allowed to drive carts unless authorized by tournament officials.

Back in 2019, Tiger Woods was asked about JD’s PGA joyrides and chimed in with a bit of loving snark.

“As far as JD taking a cart. Well, I walked with a broken leg,” Woods said, referencing his unfathomable 2008 U.S. Open victory.

The 58-year-old Daly shot 11-over during his Thursday opening round, so it’s going to take a lot of work for him to ride his golf cart into the weekend. Nevertheless, the man gets to zoom around Valhalla with his looper dragging along. That’s a pretty stellar way to spend a weekday.